17 Feb 2019

Titles decided, champions crowned on the penultimate day of play Saturday 16th February at the Seamaster 2019 ITTF Challenge Plus Portugal Open in Lisbon but they were overshadowed by an in-form teenager who rose to new heights.

Japan’s Hina Hayata produced the performance of the day.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

However, she was not alone; China’s Cao Wei and Xu Yingbin exceeded all expectations.

…………In the third round of the women’s singles event Hina Hayata, the no.11 seed, beat China’s Liu Shiwen, the top seed and four times winner of the Women’s World Cup (9-11, 12-10, 14-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-8).

…………Success in the third round, in the quarter-finals, Hina Hayata was on fire. She beat Hungary’s Georgina Pota, the no.8 seed, in four straight games (11-6, 11-2, 11-2, 11-2).

…………Japan’s Honoka Hashimoto, the no.6 seed, recovered from a three games to one deficit to beat China’s Fan Siqi (12-10, 7-11, 4-11, 5-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-8) to reserve her place in the women’s singles semi-finals.

…………Qualifiers, both from China, Hu Limei and Li Jiayuan secured penultimate round women’s singles places. At the semi-final stage both beat Japanese opponents. Hu Limei accounted for Japan’s Saki Shibata, the no.3 seed (10-12, 13-11, 13-15, 11-8, 6-11, 14-12, 11-6); Li Jiayun ended the hopes of Miyu Kato, the no.8 seed (11-7, 16-14, 15-17, 11-4, 10-12, 11-5).

…………China’s Lin Gaoyuan, the top seed and Vladimir Samsonov of Belarus, the no.4 seed, both in the same half of the draw, progressed to the men’s singles semi-finals. In the round of the last eight, Lin Gaoyuan beat the Czech Republic’s Pavel Sirucek, the no.21 seed (11-4, 11-9, 11-6, 5-11, 11-6); Vladimir Samsonov ended the journey of qualifier, China’s Xu Yingbin (11-13, 11-9, 11-2, 13-11, 11-3).

…………Required to compete in the qualification tournament, China’s Liu Yebo performed the recovery of the day. At the quarter-final stage of the men’s singles event, he fought back from a three games to nil deficit to beat Japan’s Yukiya Uda, the no.19 seed (6-11, 5-11, 9-11, 13-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-4). In the semi-finals, he meets colleague Liang Jingkun, the no.3 seed; in the quarter-final round he beat Niu Guankai, also from China (11-8, 11-1, 11-4, 11-7).

…………At the semi-final stage of the men’s doubles event, the top two seeds both lost to pairs who had been required to compete in the qualification tournament. Hungary’s Nandor Ecseki and Adam Szudi, the top the seeds, suffered against Japan’s Shunsuke Togami and Yukiya Uda (9-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-6); Liang Jingkun and Lin Gaoyuan, the no.2 seeds, departed at the hands of Chinese colleagues, Cao Wei and Xu Yingbin (14-12, 11-7, 6-11, 11-9).

…………In a nail-biting contest, Hungary’s Dora Madarasz and Szandra Pergel, the no.4 seeds, beat Romania’s Daniela Monteiro-Dodean and Elizabeta Samara, the no.5 seeds (3-11, 11-4, 11-6, 13-15, 13-11) to book their place in the women’s doubles final. They face China’s Fan Siqi and Yang Huijing; in the penultimate round they accounted for fellow qualifiers Chinese Taipei’s Huang Yu-Wei and Li Yu-Jhun (11-6, 11-8, 11-9).

…………Japan’s Shunsuke Togami and China’s Fan Siqi won the respective under 21 men’s singles and under 21 women’s singles titles. At the final hurdle Shunsuke Togami beat China’s Xiang Peng (12-10, 12-10, 11-7); Fan Siqi accounted for Romania’s Adina Diaconu (11-8, 12-10, 2-11, 8-11, 11-9).

…………Lin Gaoyuan and Liu Shiwen brought the day to a conclusion. The top seeds, they beat Slovakia’s Lubomir Pistej and Tatiana Kukulkova, the no.2 seeds, in three straight games (11-8, 11-6, 11-4) to capture the mixed doubles title.

Challenge Series Hina Hayata

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Day 2 - Seamaster 2019 ITTF Challenge+ Portugal Open

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