29 May 2019

Notable names fell on the first day of qualification at the Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour Platinum China Open in Shenzhen, the most notable of all being Korea Republic's Jeoung Youngsik, twice a men's singles ITTF World Tour winner, he was beaten Japan's Yuki Hirano (11-9, 4-11, 11-2, 11-9, 12-10).

Now on Wednesday 29th May can Yuki Hirano, the younger brother of Sayaka Hirano, the great team player, maintain progress, will more significant names fall by the wayside; follow the action...…...

Europeans advance at European expense

Men’s Singles – Preliminary Round Four

Europeans beat fellow Europeans in round four and thus secured main draw places.

Portugal’s João Monteiro beat Denmark’s Zhai Yujia (13-11, 11-2, 11-4, 16-18, 9-11, 12-10), Vladimir Samsonov of Belarus accounted for Spain’s Alvaro Robles (11-4, 10-12, 11-7, 11-5, 11-3); Frenchman Emmanel Lebesson overcame Slovenia’s Darko Jorgic (11-9, 14-12, 11-5, 10-12, 11-9).

Likewise Portugal’s João Geraldo overcame Sweden’s Truls Moregard, Simon Gauzy accounted for fellow Frenchman Andrea Landrieu (11-6, 11-6, 13-15, 11-5, 11-9); similarly Ricardo Walther ended the hopes of German colleague, Patrick Franziska (11-6, 6-11,9-11, 11-7, 11-9, 6-11, 11-9).

Ricardo Walther (furthest from camera) caused an upset by beating colleague, Patrick Franziska (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Brothers progress

Men’s Singles – Preliminary Round Four

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).

Success for Kazuhiro Yoshimura and Maharu Yoshimura, there was also success for compatriot; he reserved his berth in the second stage by beating Austria’s Daniel Habesohn (5-11, 8-11, 11-1, 9-11, 11-9, 12-10, 11-5).

Mixed fortunes for China

Men’s Singles – Preliminary Round Four

There were differing fortunes for China in the fourth preliminary round.

Zhou Qihao beat Sweden’s Kristian Karlsson (3-11, 11-4, 11-8, 11-5, 7-11, 11-5), Yu Ziyang accounted for Croatia’s Tomislav Pucar (9-11, 11-6, 11-4, 9-11, 11-6, 8-11, 13-11). Conversely, Fang Bo lost to Slovakia’s Lubomir Pistej (11-8, 8-11, 8-11, 11-4, 11-5, 11-5).

Zhou Qihao recorded a win of note, he beat Kristian Karlsson (Photo: Rémy Gros)
African champion falls

Men’s Singles – Preliminary Round Four

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).

Success for Cho Seungmin, there was also success for his colleague, Hwang Minha; he reserved his main draw place courtesy of success in opposition to Hungary’s Tamas Lakatos (11-8, 11-8, 11-9, 14-12)

Buenos Aires role reversal

Men’s Singles – Preliminary Round Four

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 table, 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)

Lin Yun-Ju en route to victory against Wang Chuqin (Photo: Rémy Gros)
The hard way

Men’s Singles – Preliminary Round Four

Doing things the hard way, India’s Sathiyan Gnanasekaran beat Belgium’s Cédric Nuytinck and thus booked his place in the main draw. He won by the minimal two point margin in the deciding 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).

“Fantastic! It is the best match I have ever played in my life. He is a great player and my teammate in India League, so I knew this match would be very hard. I beat him in 2008 Beijing but I knew this would be a different match. Aggressive was the key but he was very constant. I am really happy. The China Open is toughest tournament for me and I was prepared for this. I had a tough qualification draw. Every match was tough but I kept fighting and became mentally strong. It has been fantastic for the last two days. I played the maximum games possible. I am totally tired now.” Sathiyan Gnanasekaran

Overall 21 games, 12 won 9 lost; at total of 390 points, a mere 8 points to the good. He won 199, lost 191!

Back from the brink

Women’s Singles – Preliminary Round Three

Cheers from the home crowd as Gu Yuting fights back to beat Japan’s Hina Hayata in a seven-game thriller: down 3-8 in the deciding game the Chinese player produced a wonderful recovery effort, dropping just one further point to win the game 11-9 and the match as a consequence (11-7, 4-11, 9-11, 11-6, 7-11, 11-9, 11-9).

Another host nation victory came from Qian Tianyi, who qualifies for the main event at the expense of Hong Kong’s Lee Ho Ching (12-14, 11-6, 11-5, 8-11, 11-5, 11-6).

King of trickshots?

Convincing display

Women’s Singles – Preliminary Round Three

Wang Yidi will take her spot in the women’s singles draw after the Chinese competitor emerged successful in her final qualification match against Zeng Jian, prevailing 4-0 over the Singapore player (11-1, 13-11, 11-7, 11-7).

History makers reach main event

Men’s Doubles – Preliminary Round 

Leading Portugal to its first World Championships medal last month in Budapest, Tiago Apolonia and Joao Monteiro have qualified for the men’s doubles main draw in Shenzhen but it wasn’t a comfortable ride as Denmark’s Jonathan Groth and England’s Liam Pitchford narrowly missed out by a 3-2 score-line (7-11, 11-6, 11-13, 11-9, 11-8).

Main draw place awaits Joao Monteiro (left) and Tiago Apolonia (right) in Shenzhen (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Mixed association combination progress

Women’s Doubles – Preliminary Round 

Representing different countries from two different continents but on the table Spain’s Galia Dvorak and Canada’s Zhang Mo are playing with great understanding of each other’s game.

The mixed association pair sealed their spot in the main draw with a four games victory over DPR Korea’s Kim Jinju and Pyon Song Gyong (11-9, 12-10, 3-11, 13-11).

A blossoming partnership

Women’s Doubles – Preliminary Round 

Taking home two ITTF Challenge Series gold medals as a pair earlier this month, in Shenzhen Miyuu Kihara and Miyu Nagasaki have secured their place in the women’s doubles main event after the Japanese duo posted a straight games success against Puerto Rico’s Adriana and Melanie Díaz (12-10, 11-8, 12-10).

Miyu Nagasaki and Miyuu Kihara qualify (Photo: Robert Valai)
Comeback kings

Men’s Singles – Preliminary Round Three

From a 0-3 games deficit Maharu Yoshimura pulled off an amazing comeback win against Takuya Jin, seeing off his fellow Japanese compatriot 4-3 (7-11, 10-12, 17-19, 11-7, 11-7, 11-1, 11-8). Germany’s Patrick Franziska achieved a fine comeback of his own, denying Andrej Gacina five match point opportunities to beat the Croatian by the narrowest of margins in the decider (4-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-8, 12-10).

“I am very happy and relieved. It was a tough match. He played really well and I also played really good. I think it was a high level match. In the end for sure I was a bit lucky for coming back from 5-10 to 12-10. I believed in myself. It was hard but you have to try and finally I got some good points for myself…” Patrick Franziska

Huge upset!

Men’s Singles – Preliminary Round Three

Swedish star Truls Moregard has caused a massive upset, producing a magnificent 4-1 victory over Japan’s Kenta Matsudaira (10-12, 11-7, 11-8, 11-6, 11-9).

Spanish star claims surprise victory

Men’s Singles – Preliminary Round Three

Against the odds Spain’s Alvaro Robles has eliminated Liao Cheng-Ting from men’s singles qualification in Shenzhen, defeating the Chinese Taipei player in an exciting seven-game encounter (11-5, 5-11, 10-12, 11-5, 11-9, 9-11, 11-6).

Just one more win separates Alvaro Robles and a spot in the main draw but first he must topple Belarusian legend Vladimir Samsonov, who needed just four games to get the job done against Czech opponent Pavel Sirucek (12-10, 11-7, 12-10, 16-14).

Fang Bo negotiates difficult test

Men’s Singles – Preliminary Round Three

China’s Fang Bo is through to the fourth and final round of preliminary action, but accomplishing that feat proved tricky for the 2015 World Championships silver medallist as Chinese Taipei’s Chuang Chih-Yuan gave a good account of himself (12-10, 13-11, 14-12, 7-11, 11-5). The host nation also enjoyed success courtesy of Zhou Qihao, who beat Denmark’s Jonathan Groth (11-6, 11-8, 12-10, 6-11, 11-9).

“Today I played better than yesterday. The first three games were really tough, as I won by the minimal margin of two points in each game. I think I dealt with the crucial points better. He is a very strong and experienced player so I came here today fully prepared. Today’s match is within my expectation.” Fang Bo

Living on the edge again

Men’s Singles – Preliminary Round Three

Pushed right down to the wire in his opening men’s singles qualification fixture, India’s Sathiyan Gnanasekaran survived another severe test in preliminary round three.

Trailing Stefan Fegerl 2-3, back-to-back game wins were required as Sathiyan Gnanasekaran prevailed over his Austrian counterpart by a dramatic 4-3 score-line (11-8, 8-11, 5-11, 11-7, 3-11, 11-8, 11-9).

Principal names enjoy success

Women’s Singles – Preliminary Round Two

The second preliminary round of the women’s singles event approaching conclusion, the prominent names enjoyed success.

Most notably Austria’s Sofia Polcanova beat Hong Kong’s Zhu Chengzhu (11-8, 8-11, 11-5, 11-9, 11-6), the latter’s colleague Chen Szu-Yu overcame DPR Korea’s Kim Jinju (11-8, 6-11, 11-8, 5-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-6).

A successful start for Sofia Polcanova (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Qian Tianyi and Miyuu Kihara continue to impress

Women’s Singles – Preliminary Round Two

Crowned World Junior champion some five months ago in Bendigo, China’s Qian Tianyi, alongside Japan’s 14 year old Miyuu Kihara, the winner earlier this month at the Seamaster ITTF Challenge Series tournament in Croatia, continued to impress.

In the second preliminary round of the women’s singles event, Qian Tianyi beat Spain’s Maria Xiao (11-7, 11-5, 11-3, 11-6), in a similarly imposing manner Miyuu Kihara ended the hopes of Hong Kong’s Ng Wing Nam (11-6, 11-5, 13-1, 11-9)

Kim Nam Hae good form continues

Women’s Singles – Preliminary Round Two

Outstanding form from DPR Korea’s Kim Nam Hae in the mixed doubles event partnering An Ji Song; it was the same later in the morning in the women’s singles competition.

Good players adapt, Kim Nam Hae adapted to the defensive skills of Japan’s Honoka Hashimoto to cause the recovery of the day so far and cause a major upset; after losing the opening three games she won four in a row (10-12, 7-11, 6-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-9, 11-9). Presently on the women’s world rankings, Kim Nam Hae is named at no.107, Honoka Hashimoto at no.23.

Success for Kim Nam Hae (foreground) in partnership with An Ji Song, later there was more success when alone (Photo: Rémy Gros)
 Further shock defeat for China

Women’s Singles – Preliminary Round Two

A surprise defeat for Fan Zhendong and Ding Ning at the hands of DPR Korea; soon after another followed; in the second preliminary round of the women’s singles event, He Zhoujia, the runner up some five months ago at the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals and listed at no.18 on the current women’s world rankings departed.

She was beaten by DPR Korea’s Cha Su Yong, player with no global status (11-9, 8-11, 11-8, 12-10, 3-11, 3-11, 11-5).

“I was prepared that this match could be tough and it was a bit difficult for me to mobilise myself around the court. My opponent played really well today. I think she had the upper hand. When she was 3-1 leading I felt she made some changes to her mindset. But, when entering the deciding game she became more relaxed. She was stronger than me today.” He Zhoujia

Koki Niwa and Mima Ito in harmony

Mixed Doubles – Preliminary Round Two

Eyes focused on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the favoured Japanese pairing may well be Tomokazu Harimoto and Kasumi Ishikawa; however, it appears they have strong challengers. Colleagues Koki Niwa and Mima Ito booked their place in the mixed doubles main draw in Shenzhen courtesy of success against Portugal’s Tiago Apolonia and Shao Jieni (11-7, 11-8, 15-13).

“This is my first time to partner Koki Niwa, so I was a bit worried at beginning but it went well afterwards. He is a very interesting and competitive player. We think alike in many aspects; hope we can co-operate better and make a strong team in future. We trained three times before this tournament. We had intensive training each time. We wish to be a perfect team for many matches.” Mima Ito

Mima Ito establishing an understanding with Koki Niwa (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Fan Zhendong and Ding Ning react to defeat

Mixed Doubles – Preliminary Round Two

Defeat for Fan Zhendong and Ding Ning but the reaction was philosophical

“It was a pity that we lost today, especially as we lost by the minimal margin of two points in each game. I think today our opponents used more precise tactics and played more aggressively. We did not do well in the crucial points.” Ding Ning

“We played well today but they played better. We kept trying to find solutions when on court, especially during the first two games. Things could have been different if we had taken one game.” Fan Zhendong

Day starts with major upset

Mixed Doubles – Preliminary Round

Places in the main draw the reward, China Fan Zhendong and Ding Ning, the players listed at the top of the current men’s and women’s world rankings, suffered a second preliminary round mixed doubles defeat. They were beaten by DPR Korea’s An Ji Song and Kim Nam Hae (12-10, 14-12, 11-9).

Success for DPR Korea, there was further success; in additionHam Yu Song and Cha Hyo Som accounted for the Czech Republic’s Tomas Polansky and Hana Matelova (6-11, 11-4, 11-6, 11-6).

A shock defeat for Ding Ning (left) and (right) Fan Zhendong (Photo: Rémy Gros)

Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour Platinum China Open: Monday 13th June: Schedule of Play – Tuesday 28th & Wednesday 29th May

World Tour 2019 Seamaster China Open Shenzhen

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Day 4 - Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour China Open

Match Highlights