Tournaments

06 Apr 2019

Gold, silver and bronze medallists one year ago, China’s Zhu Yuling and Chen Meng, alongside the host nation’s Kasumi Ishikawa all emerged successful at the quarter-final stage of the women’s event at the Lion 32nd ITTF-ATTU Asian Cup Yokohama 2019 on the morning of Saturday 6th April.

They join Singapore’s Feng Tianwei in the penultimate round, very much the interloper, last year she was not present in the Japanese city.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

The winner in 2015 in Jaipur, Feng Tianwei was very much the player in form, the no.7 seed, she accounted for Korea Republic’s Jeon Jihee, the no.9 seed (11-2, 11-7, 11-9, 11-7) and thus maintained her quite incredible record. She has now met Jeon Jihee on nine occasions in international tournaments; she has won all nine.

Equally both Kasumi Ishikawa and Zhu Yuling faced adversaries who were no strangers; Kasumi Ishikawa, the no.3 seed, overcame Hong Kong’s Doo Hoi Kem, the no.8 seed (11-9, 9-11, 15-13, 9-11, 12-10, 11-9) in was a repeat of one year ago. In 2018 they had met in the same round; on that occasion Kasumi Ishikawa had won in four straight games (11-6, 13-11, 11-7, 11-4), one year later life was more testing.

“I expected that the match against her could be this tough. The score was very, very close in each game. I think I was more determined than her in the crucial points and this is why I was able to take the match today.” Kasumi Ishikawa.

Similarly, last year Zhu Yuling had met the host nation’s Miu Hirano in both the group and quarter-final stages; in the initial phase contest she had won in straight games (11-9, 11-6, 11-6); in the second engagement she had needed six games to secure victory (11-4, 11-13, 11-5, 10-12, 11-9, 11-5). Now one year later in the round of the last eight it was little different, Zhu Yuling, the no.2 seed, prevailed in similar style (9-11, 11-7, 11-2, 10-12, 11-7, 11-8).

“I entered into match rhythm quite quickly today. I led 5-0 in the first game, she made some changes then I lost next six or seven points. This is where I needed to reappraise. I had the upper hand during the whole match but I also made a lot of unnecessary mistakes. Last year in the same venue, I beat her by the same score; that match was much fiercer than today. So actually I was well prepared a repeat. Miu Hirano is a very strong player.” Zhu Yuling

Success for Zhu Yuling, for her compatriot Chen Meng it was success by default; Chinese Taipei’s Cheng I-Ching, the no.4 seed, her quarter-final opponent was forced to conceded through injury.

At the semi-final stage Zhu Yuling meets Feng Tianwei, Kasumi Ishikawa opposes Chen Meng; the matches will be played later in the day.

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2019 Asian Cup Zhu Yuling Chen Meng Kasumi Ishikawa Feng Tianwei
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Day 2 - Lion 2019 ITTF-ATTU Asian Cup