22 Dec 2018

Progress for Germany’s Nina Mittelham and the host nation’s Lily Zhang as status advised; both booked Women’s Singles semi-final places at the 2018 United States Open in Orlando on Thursday 20th December.

However, the two further names were not necessarily to be anticipated, neither appearing amongst those who gained seeded positions; Liu Juan, like Lily Zhang from the United States and Japan’s Eka So were the players in question.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Surprise names but both players of stature with Eka So, the runner up in Under 21 Women’s Singles events on the ITTF World Tour in 2013 in Belarus and the following year in Belgium, causing the bigger upset. She accounted for the home country’s Wu Yue, the top seed, in five games (11-8, 10-12, 11-7, 11-6, 11-9).

A five games success for Eka So, for Liu Juan, the winner of the Women’s Singles title earlier in the year at the United States National Championships, it was victory in four straight games. She overcame Kyota Kato, the no.17 seed and like Eka So from the United States (11-9, 11-5, 11-8, 11-3).

Impressive performances, for Nina Mittelham, the no.2 seed and Lily Zhang, the no.3 seed, the semi-final successes were hard earned; six games outcomes were the verdicts against Japanese opposition. Nina Mittelham beat Yuki Matsumoto (11-9, 11-8, 3-11, 11-9, 1-11, 11-2); Lily Zhang ended the progress of Miyuki Tamaishi (11-8, 10-12, 4-11, 11-5, 11-9, 11-7).

At the semi-final stage Nina Mittelham meets Lily Zhang, Eka So opposes Liu Juan.

Defeat for the top seed at the quarter-final stage of the Women’s Singles event, it was the same in the Under 21 Women’s Singles competition, a round in which England provided the opposition to the United States.

Tin-Tin Ho, the leading name on duty experienced defeat at the hands of the host nation’s Lin Jiaqi in a full distance five games duel (11-7, 5-11, 12-14, 11-9, 11-6); conversely, English national team colleague, Maria Tsaptisinos, the no.2 seed, overcame Liu Yi-Wei (11-7, 11-9, 7-11, 14-12).

Maria Tsaptisinos now meets Xu Nuo; Lin Jiaqi opposes Chi Ge; in the round of the last eight Chi Ge beat Wang Yi Miao (8-11, 11-7, 8-11, 11-7, 11-2), Xu Nuo overcame Guo Jiangshan. Both Chi Ge and Xu Nuo commenced matters sharing the no.3 seeded position.

Play concludes in Orlando on Saturday 22nd December.

2018 United States Open: Seeding and Results

2018 United States Open: Feature articles by Matt Hetherington and Richard Finn

2018 United States Open Lily Zhang Nina Mittelham Eka So Liu Jian