03 Nov 2018

A quite remarkable recovery at the quarter-final stage of the Women’s Singles event at the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Swedish Open on the afternoon of Saturday 3rd November, later in the evening session of play, Japan's Mima Ito repeated the feat.

The no.7 seed, having beaten Liu Shiwen, the no.2 seed when trailing three games to one (10-12, 7-11, 7-11, 5-11, 13-11, 11-4, 11-8); against Ding Ning, the no.6 seed, she lost the opening two games before recovering to win the next four (3-11, 7-11, 12-10, 11-6, 11-9).

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Thus she ended the hopes of the reigning Olympic and World champion, having completed the rare feat of overcoming members of China’s elite in consecutive matches.

It was not a semi-final result to be anticipated when the opening two games had been completed. Ding Ning had prevailed with a degree of ease and then led 3-0 in the third. Mima Ito called “Time Out”; at 10-8 Ding Ning held two points for a three-nil lead. Mima Ito won the next, Ding Ning called “Time Out”. The pause was to prove beneficial for Mima Ito; she won the game and gained a massive boost of confidence.

It was a rejuvenated Mima Ito, any weak return from Ding Ning was pounced up; step by step, causing her illustrious adversary problems with deft changes of service, Mima Ito took control. Ding Ning, renowned for being so mentally strong, was shell-shocked, it was a mesmerized Olympic and World champion, in the sixth game; it was a crestfallen star who departed the arena.

“At the start of the match, I couldn’t play how I wanted, I just kept playing point by point. Today in both matches I had such a bad start; let’s hope in tomorrow’s final I can make a good start.” Mima Ito

In the final Mima Ito meets a third Chinese opponent, Zhu Yuling, the top seed, earlier in the evening she ended the hopes of colleague, Chen Meng (12-10, 11-2, 11-6, 5-11, 10-12, 11-7)

A close opening game, one in which she trailed 6-10 before winning six points in a row, gave Zhu Yuling impetus; in the second, she controlled matters from start to finish, the third game was no different as her high level of consistency pressurized Chen Meng into making errors.

Chen Meng responded to win the third game but then once again Zhu Yuling seized control. In the fourth she established a 4-1 lead, Chen Meng called “Time Out”, she recovered to level matters at 7-all, before gaining a 9-7 lead and with fortune on her side secured the game at her second attempt.

Now the gap down to one game, in the sixth, Zhu Yuling established an early lead, somewhat precautionary, at 8-5, she elected for “Time Out”, she maintained the advantage at 10-7 holding four match points, she succeeded at the first attempt.

“The first game was the most important, Chen Meng led 10-6, I came back to win the game, it was a major boost.” Zhu Yuling

On the concluding day of action, Sunday 4th November, the finals’ programme starts at 10.00 am (local time).

World Tour 2018 Seamaster Swedish Open Ding Ning Mima Ito Chen Meng Zhu Yuling

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