by Ian Marshall, Editor
It was somewhat of a hesitant start for Zhu Yuling against a player of a not too different style, consistency being a hallmark of both players.
“In the beginning I made some mistakes. I just tried to stay focused. I continued to play my game because I knew I had to stick with my strategy. I will continue give my best and I will try to keep winning.” Zhu Yuling
A semi-final place for Zhu Yuling, the effect of the victory; however that is not the only effect. Doo Hoi Kem will finish the year in 18th place on the Women’s Singles Standings (265 points) and will thus not qualify for the Grand Finals. The precious 16th place finishes in the hands of Saki Shibata (437 points), who earlier in Linz had been beaten by China’s Sun Yingsha in the final preliminary round in the qualification tournament.
Meanwhile, for Liu Shiwen and Chen Meng, both had qualified for the Grand Finals prior to their meeting in Linz; Chen Meng, like Zhu Yuling making her fifth appearance of the year and thus meeting the basic qualification criteria.
“I tried to play and not to think too much. All in all, it was not about changing my strategy I just pushed myself for every point.” Chen Meng
Notably for both Chen Meng and Zhu Yuling it was a repeat of results recorded earlier in the year. At the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Shinan Korea Open, Chen Meng had beaten Liu Shiwen at the semi-final stage of the Women’s Singles event; in Halmstad at the Liebherr 2018 World Team Championships, Zhu Yuling had overcome Doo Hoi Kem in the semi-final encounter against Hong Kong.
Chen Meng, Liu Shiwen and Zhu Yuling join colleagues Wang Manyu, Ding Ning, Chen Xingtong, He Zhuojia and Sun Yingsha on the Grand Finals invitation list. Kasumi Ishikawa, Mima Ito, Hitomi Sato, Miu Hirano and Saki Shibata form the Japanese contingent bound for Incheon.
They are joined by Chinese Taipei’s Cheng I-Ching, Singapore’s Feng Tianwei and the host nation’s Suh Hyowon.
Qualifiers for Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals – Updated List
Xu Xin (China), Fan Zhendong (China), Ma Long (China), Tomokazu Harimoto (Japan), Jang Woojin (Korea Republic), Liang Jingkun (China), Lin Gaoyuan (China), Hugo Calderano (Brazil), Jun Mizutani (Japan), Patrick Franziska (Germany), Lim Jonghoon (Korea Republic), Lee Sangsu (Korea Republic), Wong Chun Ting (Hong Kong), Liu Dingshuo (China), Koki Niwa (Japan)
Wang Manyu (China), Kasumi Ishikawa (Japan), Liu Shiwen (China), Mima Ito (Japan), Ding Ning (China), Zhu Yuling (China), Chen Meng (China), Suh Hyowon (Korea Republic), Cheng I-Ching (Chinese Taipei), Chen Xingtong (China), Hitomi Sato (Japan), He Zhuojia (China), Miu Hirano (Japan), Sun Yingsha (China), Feng Tianwei (Singapore), Saki Shibata (Japan)
Jeoung Youngsik / Lee Sangsu (Korea Republic), Masataka Morizono / Yuya Oshima (Japan), Ma Long / Xu Xin (China), Ho Kwan Kit / Wong Chun Ting (Hong Kong), Jang Woojin / Lim Jonghoon (Korea Republic), Liao Cheng-Ting / Lin Yun-Ju (Chinese Taipei), Patrick Franziska / Jonathan Groth (Germany / Denmark), Mattias Falck / Kristian Karlsson (Sweden)
Chen Xingtong / Sun Yingsha (China), Hina Hayata / Mima Ito (Japan), Jeon Jihee / Yang Haeun (Korea Republic), Chen Ke / Wang Manyu (China), Liu Gaoyang / Zhang Rui (China), Honoka Hashimoto / Hitomi Sato (Japan), Doo Hoi Kem / Lee Ho Ching (Hong Kong), Ng Wing Nam / Minnie Soo Wai Yam (Hong Kong)
Lee Sangsu / Jeon Jihee (Korea Republic), Jang Woojin / Cha Hyo Sim (Korea Republic / DPR Korea), Chen Chien-An / Cheng I-Ching (Chinese Taipei), Lim Jonghoon / Yang Haeun (Korea Republic), Maharu Yoshimura / Kasumi Ishikawa (Japan), Masataka Morizono / Mima Ito (Japan), Wong Chun Ting / Doo Hoi Kem (Hong Kong), Lubomir Pistej / Barbora Balazova (Slovakia)