29 May 2019

Experience is invaluable, on Wednesday 29th May in the qualification tournament for places in the main draw of proceedings at the Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour Platinum, China Open in Shenzhen, over 99 years of experience counted.

Vladimir Samsonov of Belarus, who last month celebrated his 43rd birthday and Luxemburg’s Ni Xia Lian who July will celebrate the age who equates to her current world ranking of no.56, each booked main draw places in the respective men’s singles and women’s singles events.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

They are the two most senior players on duty Shenzhen, as always they set the example.

Men’s Singles

…………Vladimir Samsonov beat the Czech Republic’s Pavel Sirucek (12-10, 11-7, 12-10, 16-14) and Spain’s Alvaro Robles (11-4, 10-12, 11-7, 11-5, 11-3) to secure his main draw place.

…………India’s Sathiyan Gnanasekaran beat Belgium’s Cédric Nuytinck in his concluding qualification match. He won by the minimal two point margin in the seventh game (8-11, 8-11, 11-6, 10-12, 11-5, 11-9), just as is in the previous two rounds when he had accounted for Sweden’s Anton Källberg (8-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-5, 8-11, 8-11, 12-10) and Austria’s Stefan Fegerl (11-8, 8-11, 5-11, 11-7, 3-11, 11-8, 11-9). Overall 21 games, 12 won 9 lost; at total of 390 points, a mere 8 points to the good. He won 199, lost 191!

…………Reigning African champion, Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna experienced defeat in the fourth preliminary round; he was beaten by Korea Republic’s Cho Seungmin (11-13, 11-8, 11-8, 10-12, 11-7, 11-8).

…………Brothers, Kazuhiro Yoshimura and Maharu Yoshimura both secured main draw places. In the fourth preliminary round both beat Japanese colleagues; Kazuhiro Yoshimura accounted for Yuki Hirano (6-11, 11-8, 10-12, 13-15, 11-7, 11-9, 12-10); Maharu Yoshimura overcame Masataka Morizono (11-9, 11-7, 13-11, 16-14).

…………China’s Fang Bo caused a major third preliminary round upset by beating Chinese Taipei’s Chuang Chih-Yuan (12-10, 13-11, 14-12, 7-11, 11-5) but then suffered against Slovakia’s Lubomir Pistej (11-8, 8-11, 8-11, 11-4, 11-5, 11-5).

…………At the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games, China’s Wang Chuqin had won gold, for Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yun-Ju it was an agonizing fourth place. In Shenzhen, Lin Yun-Ju turned the tables, in the fourth preliminary round he beat Wang Chuqin in seven games (12-14, 11-8, 15-13, 11-8, 1-11, 10-12, 11-8).

Women’s Singles

…………No world ranking DPR Korea’s Cha Su Yong caused the biggest upset of the day; in the second preliminary round she beat China’s He Zhuojia, the runner up at the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals. Alas she did not progress to the main draw; in the third round she was beaten by Russia’s Polina Mikhailova (11-9, 12-10, 12-10, 11-7).

…………After accounting for DPR Korea’s Pyon Song Gong (11-3, 11-7, 9-11, 11-5, 11-8) the host nation’s Gu Yuting performed an escape act. She recovered from a 3-8 deficit in the deciding game to beat Japan’s Hina Hayata (11-7, 4-11, 9-11, 11-6, 7-11, 11-9, 11-9) and thus booked her main draw place.

…………China’s Qian Tianyi, the reigning world junior champion, continued to impress. She advanced to the main draw courtesy of success against Spain’s Maria Xiao 11-7, 11-8, 11-3, 11-6) and Hong Kong’s Lee Ho Ching (12-14, 11-6, 11-5, 8-11, 11-5, 11-6).

…………Ni Xia Lian used her vast bank of experience to beat Hong Kong’s Liu Qi (11-5, 11-8, 11-6, 11-13, 11-2) and Li Jie of the Netherlands (11-6, 6-11, 11-8, 11-7).

…………At the opposite end of the age scale, Japan’s 14 year old Miyuu Kihara accounted for Hong Kong’s Ng Wing Nam (11-6, 11-5, 13-11, 11-9), before ousting Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz (11-5, 9-11, 11-7, 8-11, 11-9, 11-7). If the career of Miyuu Kihara lasts as long as that of Ni Xia Lian, she will still be playing in 2061!

…………The host nation’s Sun Yingsha underlined the fact she is a major contender for honours; she beat China’s Satsuki Odo (7-11, 11-6, 11-1, 11-9, 11-7), before overcoming Chinese Taipei’s Cheng Hsien-Tzu (11-4, 11-8, 11-6, 11-4).

Mixed Doubles

…………Bronze medallists at the recent Liebherr 2019 World Championships, China’s Fan Zhendong and Ding Ning suffered a shock second preliminary round exit. They were beaten by DPR Korea’s An Ji Song and Kim Nam Hae (12-10, 14-12, 11-9).

…………First time together and could they be together at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games? It was success for Japan’s Koki Niwa and Mima Ito; they beat Portugal’s Tiago Apolonia and Shao Jieni (11-7, 11-8, 15-13) to book their place in the main draw.

World Tour 2019 Seamaster China Open Shenzhen

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Day 4 - Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour China Open

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