27 Mar 2019

The first day of play, Tuesday 26th March, in the qualification tournament that precedes the Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour Platinum Qatar Open in Doha completed, surprises; there was no shortage.

Most notably in the men’s singles event Denmark’s Jonathan Groth departed; likewise, in the women’s singles competition Romania’s Bernadette Socs and Japan's Honoka Hashimoto bid farewell.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

In the second qualification round of both the men’s singles and women’s singles events, there were plenty of performances to attract the attention

Men’s Singles Qualification

……….Winner at the 2014 ITTF World Cadet Challenge in Barbados, Korea Republic’s Hwang Minha very much realized the potential shown some five years ago. He ousted Denmark’s Jonathan Groth (13-11, 9-11, 11-7, 8-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-7); on the men’s world rankings Jonathan Groth is named at no.23, Hwang Minha at no.170

……….Successful two days earlier in Oman, Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yun-Ju maintained his form; he beat Nigeria’s Olajide Omotayo (11-8, 11-6, 11-6, 11-5); conversely for Denmark’s Zhai Yujia, the winner in Spain, it was defeat. He lost to Germany’s Ricardo Walther (12-10, 5-11, 11-8, 13-11, 11-8)

……….the reigning African champion was beaten by a twice Latin American champion; Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna suffered at the hands of Brazil’s Thiago Monteiro (11-9, 11-8, 3-11, 12-10, 11-6)

……….Russia’s Alexey Liventsov and England’s Sam Walker caused major upsets. Alexey Liventsov beat Germany’s Ruwen Filus (4-11, 4-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-8, 11-9); Sam Walker accounted for Japan’s Jin Ueda (11-9, 6-11, 6-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-9). On the world rankings, Alexey Liventsov is named at no.115, Ruwen Files at no.38: Sam Walker at no.93, Jin Ueda at no.29

Women’s Singles Qualification

……….Korea Republic’s Kim Hayeong, a former member of the Chinese national junior team when known as Lee Yiran, caused the biggest surprise of the opening day; world ranked no.127 she beat Romania’s Bernadette Szocs, listed at no.21 and the highest rated player on qualification duty. Kim Hayeong emerged successful in a dramatic seven games duel (8-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-7, 5-11, 15-13)

……….Monaco’s Yang Xiaoxin won the most gruelling match of the day; eventually she overcame the defensive skills of Japan’s Honoka Hashimoto (9-11, 14-16, 12-10, 10-12, 11-5, 11-7, 13-11). Furthermore, she caused an upset of note. World ranked no.25, Honoka Hashomoto was one of the favourites to progress to the main draw; Yang Xiaoxin is listed at no.72

……….Canada’s Zhang Mo, ranked no.22 and very much name expected to progress, departed the scene. She was beaten by Korea Republic’s Yoo Eunchong, named at no.79 in the global order (5-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-9, 11-8)

……….Winners two days earlier, Hina Hayata in Oman, Miyu Kato in Spain, the Japanese teenage pair imposed their authority on proceedings. Hina Hayata beat Ukraine’s Tetyana Bilenko (11-6, 11-9, 8-11, 11-6, 11-8); Miyu Kato accounted for Hungary’s Dora Madarasz (11-9, 11-8, 11-6, 11-5)

……….Ukraine’s Margaryta Pesotska extracted revenge; six months ago she had lost to Li Qian in the final at the Liebherr 2018 European Championships; in Doha she withstood a brave recovery by the Polish defender to succeed in seven games (11-7, 11-6, 11-9, 14-16, 7-11, 5-11, 14-12)

World Tour 2019 Seamaster Qatar Open Bernadette Szocs Honoka Hashimoto Jonathan Groth Chuang Chih-Yuan

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Day 3 - Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour Platinum Qatar Open

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