by Ian Marshall, Editor
After, at the quarter-final stage beating Darya Kisel of Belarus, the no.4 seed (11-2, 11-7, 11-9, 11-2) and Sakura Yokoi, who had been required to compete in the qualification group stage (13-15, 12-10, 11-8, 11-5, 11-8), Kaho Akae maintained her form. She overcame Yukari Sugasawa, the no.3 seed, (11-8, 6-11, 11-7, 11-8, 8-11, 3-11, 11-6) to arrest the title.
Notably, in the quarter-final round, Sakura Yokoi had ended the hopes of 10 year old colleague, Miwa Harimoto, the no.14 seed (11-5, 12-10, 5-11, 11-5, 11-9), the stage at which Yukari Sugasawa had ousted Germany’s Yuki Tsutsui (11-5, 11-6, 11-7, 11-5). A semi-place booked, Yukari Sugasawa beat Ami Shirayama (11-9, 11-5, 7-11, 11-6, 11-5), like Yuki Tsutsui a qualifier, to secure her place in the title decider.
Impressively, to reach the semi-final round, Ami Shirayama had beaten Honami Nakamori, the no.10 seed and winner the previous week in the Czech Republic (11-9, 11-9, 12-10, 11-4). All four semi-finalists from Japan, in fact the only quarter-finalist not of Japanese descent was Darya Kisel.
Success for Japan, for the top two seeds it was not a day to remember. Singapore’s Goi Rui Xuan experienced a third round defeat at the hands of Honomi Nakamori (11-4, 11-5, 11-3, 11-4); one round earlier, Prithika Pavade of France, the no.2 seed, had been beaten by 12 year old Ser Lin Qian (4-11, 11-7, 8-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-7), like Goi Rui Xuan from Singapore. A noteworthy success for Ser Lin Qian, alas the euphoria was short lived; one round later she was beaten by Sakura Yokoi (11-8, 7-11, 11-5, 15-13, 12-14, 11-5).
Japan dominant in the junior girls’ singles, it was just the same in the junior girls’ doubles; Honami Nakamori and Yukari Sugasawa beat Kaho Akae and Miwa Harimoto (11-9, 11-4, 9-11, 11-5) to claim the title.