31 May 2019

Qualification complete, now on Thursday 30th May, the leading names enter the arena, follow the action from the Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour Platinum China Open in Shenzhen.

The agenda, the first round in all five events starting with mixed doubles, followed by women's doubles and men's doubles; then the men's and women's singles to conclude what promises to be an enthralling day.

Germans progress

Men’s Singles: Round One

Germany’s Timo Boll and Dimitrij Ovtcharov, the finalists in 2017, both negotiated the opening round of the men’s singles event but it was hard work, very hard work.

Timo Boll, the no.5 seed, needed the full seven games to beat Portugal’s João Monteiro (11-8, 8-11, 9-11, 11-6, 12-10, 9-11, 11-6), as did Dimitrij Ovtcharov, the no.12 seed, when facing colleague, Ricardo Walther (11-5, 10-12, 11-4, 6-11, 11-8, 10-12, 11-6).

Timo Boll tested by João Monteiro (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Talented left handers progress

Men’s Singles: Round One

Name more talented left handers than China’s Lin Gaoyuan and Japan’s Jun Mizutani; you will be hard pressed  In the opening round of the men’s singles event, those talents were demonstrated to the full.

Lin Gaoyuan, the no.3 seed, beat Maharu Yoshimura, also from Japan (11-9, 11-6, 11-3, 8-11, 11-3); Jun Mizutani, the no.13 seed, ousted Portugal’s João Geraldo (11-6, 11-7, 11-9, 11-9).

Simon Gauzy causes opening round upset

Men’s Singles: Round One

Simon Gauzy was very much the player in form as the opening round of the men’s singles event progressed; he beat Korea Republic’s Lee Sangsu, the no.6 seed (6-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-9, 11-7).

Success for Simon Gauzy but for fellow Frenchman it was defeat. Emmanuel Lebesson was beaten by China’s Xu Xin, the no.2 seed (11-8, 11-5, 13-11, 11-4).

A clench of the fist by Simon Gauzy to acknowledge success  (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Now only Ma Long

Men’s Singles: Round One

A potential record of 28 ITTF World Tour men’s singles titles; at the start of the day potential two players could meet that goal; following the conclusion of the opening round of the men’s singles event there is just one.

China’s Ma Long, the no.11 seed, beat Japan’s Mizuki Oikawa (11-6, 11-5, 5-11, 11-5, 11-5); required to qualify, Vladimir Samsonov of Belarus lost to Liang Jingkun, also from China and the no.3 seed (15-13, 9-11, 11-9, 11-9, 13-11).

Opposite outcomes for European hopefuls

Women’s Singles: Round One

Romania’s Bernadette Szocs was in simply dazzling form as she stormed past Liu Yu-Hsin in straight games (11-9, 11-7, 11-6, 11-8), however, the news wasn’t so positive for Germany’s Han Ying who lost out to no.8 seed Cheng I-Ching (11-9, 11-8, 11-7, 11-5). The two remaining women’s singles encounters saw China triumph over Japan as Qian Tianyi and Zhu Yuling prevailed in their respective fixtures against Saki Shibata and Minami Ando.

Bernadette Szocs in sparkling form (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Mima Ito escapes early departure

Women’s Singles: Round One

Seventh seed Mima Ito survived a major scare in round one of the women’s singles event, needing the full seven-game distance to see off Wang Yidi (12-10, 11-7, 10-12, 7-11, 3-11, 11-9, 11-7).

Ito’s fellow Japanese compatriot Miu Hirano also pulled through her opening fixture, beating DPR Korea’s Cha Hyo Sim 4-1 (3-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-9, 11-7). But, Miyuu Kihara’s progress was halted by top seed Ding Ning (11-8, 11-3, 11-9, 8-11, 16-14).

Against expectations, Chen Szu-Yu progresses

Women’s Singles: Round One

Unseeded and required to compete in the qualification tournament, Chinese Taipei’s Chen Szu-Yu has secured an opening round upset with a class showing against no.11 seed Doo Hoi Kem (5-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-13, 7-11, 11-8, 11-8).

Chen Szu-Yu (left) en route to beating (right) Doo Hoi Kem (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Mattias Falck exits!

Men’s Singles: Round One

Finalist on the biggest of stages a month back at the Liebherr 2019 World Championships but Sweden’s Mattias Falck has been shown the door in his opening match in Shenzhen, falling to the host nation’s Yu Ziyang (8-11, 11-9, 11-13, 11-9, 9-11, 11-9, 11-5). On table 1 Hong Kong’s Wong Chun Ting, seeded 14th, held the upper hand against Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yun-Ju (11-9, 4-11, 11-7, 8-11, 11-9, 14-12).

“He is a good player. It was a tough match. I had my chance in the sixth game at 9-9. He made some good balls and I did not make good receives. He played well today.” Mattias Falck

Koreans suffer defeat

Men’s Singles: Round One

The only player to have won a triple crown on the ITTF World Tour stage but Korea Republic’s Jang Woojin will play no further part in the men’s singles event following a surprise exit at the hands of Slovak qualifier Lubomir Pistej (11-9, 1-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-4, 11-9).

Hwang Minha also fell at the opening hurdle, losing out to Brazilian no.7 seed Hugo Calderano by a 4-1 margin (11-5, 12-10, 6-11, 11-6, 11-8).

Liam Pitchford stops Chinese qualifier in his tracks

Men’s Singles: Round One

England’s Liam Pitchford has negotiated his opening round fixture against Zhou Qihao in style, needing just four games to defeat the host nation qualifier (11-7, 11-7, 12-10, 12-10).

There was some positive news for the Chinese fans to celebrate as top seed Fan Zhendong came out on top in his meeting with India’s Sathiyan Gnanasekaran (11-8, 8-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-7). Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto and Koki Niwa also emerged victorious in their opening round encounters.

World champion shows her class

Women’s Singles: Round One

Newly crowned World champion Liu Shiwen has advanced from round one of the women’s singles draw, recovering from a game down to eliminate Gu Yuting from the race (7-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-6, 11-4). Fourth seed Wang Manyu also confirmed her spot in the Round of 16 with a 4-1 success against Russia’s Polina Mikhailova (11-9, 11-5, 11-5, 8-11, 11-7).

Austrian star strikes upset

Women’s Singles: Round One

Required to compete in qualification action, now Austria’s Sofia Polcanova finds herself with a place in round two after pulling off a fine 4-3 victory against the no.12 seed from Japan, Hitomi Sato (11-7, 5-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-8).

“I feel tired, but I also feel very happy, because I won. Last time I lost against her 4-0 and today I played really good and I had good tactics so I am very happy with my performance. She is a top defender. She does not miss easy balls. To win a point against her is very difficult, all points are very long. So I tried to be patient and not to lose easy points.” Sofia Polcanova

However, Sato’s fellow compatriot Kasumi Ishikawa enjoyed a positive opening to her campaign in Shenzhen, prevailing over Luxembourg’s Ni Xia Lian in straight games (11-4, 11-8, 11-2, 11-2).

Impressive showing from Sofia Polcanova (Photo: Robert Valai)
Kim Song I holds her nerve

Women’s Singles: Round One

DPR Korea’s Kim Song I is through to the second round of the women’s singles event following a tight seven-game affair with Germany’s Nina Mittelham (14-16, 11-6, 13-15, 11-9, 11-7, 8-11, 11-9). Defeat for one German competitor and it was the same fate for another as Shan Xiaona fell at the hands of no.10 seed Feng Tianwei (8-11, 11-8, 11-8, 13-11, 11-3).

Strong start for hosts

Women’s Singles: Round One

Off to a winning start but for no.3 seed Chen Meng round one proved to be a difficult hurdle to pass with young up-and-coming star Sun Yingsha pushing the 2018 Grand Finals champion right down to the wire (7-11, 11-9, 6-11, 11-6, 6-11, 11-6, 11-3).

“I made some unforced mistakes when I was leading, especially when I led 5-2 in the fifth game. There are a lot of things for me to learn from this match. This is my first singles match here so it took me some time to enter into the match rhythm. I just told myself to focus on every point and trust myself. I was confident.” Chen Meng

Chen Xingtong, seeded 14th, successfully negotiated her opening round fixture in Shenzhen, coming through a tough battle to see off Japanese qualifier Miyu Kato across six games (11-7, 6-11, 11-3, 5-11, 11-8, 11-5).

Budapest bronze medallists depart

Men’s Doubles: Round One

Successful time and again partnering Swedish colleague, Mattias Falck, Kristian Kristian Karlsson once again proved himself a quite ideal partner. Lining up alongside Jon Persson the duo caused a first round men’s doubles upset of note; they beat China’s Lin Gaoyuan and Liang Jingkun, the no.7 seeds and semi-finalists at the recent Liebherr 2019 World Championships in Budapest. They prevailed in four games (12-10, 11-7, 11-13, 11-5).

At the quarter-final stage they meet Korea Republic’s Jang Woojin and Lim Jonghoon, the no.3 seeds and winners at the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals. They booked their last eight place by overcoming Tristan Flore and Emmanuel Lebesson of France (5-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-3, 11-6).

Germans guaranteed semi-final place

Men’s Doubles: Round One

Required to qualify; in the opening round of the men’s doubles event Germany’s Timo Boll and Patrick Franziska recovered from a two games to nil deficit to beat Chinese Taipei’s Liao Cheng-Ting and Lin Yun-Ju, the no.2 seeds (10-12, 8-11, 11-3, 11-1, 11-6).

Soon after colleagues, also qualifiers, Dimitrij Ovtcharov and Ricardo Walther accounted for Hong Kong’s Lam Siu Hang and Wong Chun Ting, the no.5 seeds (11-9, 11-13, 11-8, 2-11, 11-8).

Timo Boll and Patrick Franziska now meet Dimitrij Ovtcharov and Ricardo Walther in the quarter-finals.

Opening round men’s doubles success for Patrick Franziska in partnership with Timo Boll (Photo: Rémy Gros)
We meet again, Budapest revisited

Men’s Doubles: Round One

Finalists in the men’s doubles event at last month’s Liebherr 2019 World Championships in Budapest, both China’s Ma Long and Wang Chuqin, the winners, alongside the pairing of Romania’s Ovidiu Ionescu and Spain’s Alvaro Robles, the runners up, emerged successful.

Ma Long and Wang Chuqin received a walk-over when due to face Hong Kong’s Ho Kwan Kit and Ng Pak Nam, the no.6 seeds, Ng Pak Nam being injured; Ovidiu Ionescu and Alvaro Robles beat Sweden’s Anton Källberg and Truls Moregard (5-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-7).

The pairs now meet in the quarter-finals.

European champions fall

Men’s Doubles: Round One

Austria’s Robert Gardos and Daniel Habesohn, the reigning European champions, bid farewell at the opening hurdle, the were beaten by Japan’s Masataka Morizono and Jin Ueda, the no.8 seeds (9-11, 11-6, 5-11, 11-9, 11-7).

Rather differently, Korea Republic’s Jeoung Youngsik and Lee Sangsu, the top seeds, beat Portugal’s Tiago Apolonia and João Monteiro in somewhat strange circumstances. In the second game Jeoung Youngsik hit his hand on the table, he called for a medal time out; some doctor, in the second and third games the Koreans surrendered just five points in total (11-8, 11-3, 11-2)!

Disappointment for Robert Gardos in partnership with Daniel Habesohn (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Closest to date

Women’s Doubles: Round One

Match points saved, match points spurned, eventually Japan’s Honami Nakamori and Satsuki Odo succeeded. Moreover they upset the odds; qualifiers, they beat Hong Kong’s Doo Hoi Kem and Ng Wing Nam, the no.3 seeds, in a cliff hanging contest (10-12, 11-7, 11-9, 9-11, 17-15).

Defeat for Hong Kong but earlier in the day there had been success; Lee Ho Ching and Minnie Soo Wai Yam had combined to beat Russian qualifiers Yana Noskova and Mariia Tailakova (11-7, 9-11, 11-5, 11-8).

Top seeds progress, second seeds perish

Mixed Doubles: Round One

Top seeds, China’s Wang Manyu and Zhu Yuling made an emphatic start in their quest for honours in the women’s doubles event; they beat Austria’s Karoline Mischek and Amelie Solja in three straight games (13-11, 11-6, 11-6).

Conversely, the combination of Slovakia’s Barbora Balazova and the Czech Republic’s Hana Matelova, the no.2 seeds, experienced defeat; they suffered at the hands of Japanese teenagers Miyuu Kihara and Miyu Nagasaki (12-10, 11-8, 12-1), the winners earlier in the month in Zagreb at the Seamaster 2019 ITTF Challenge Series Croatia Open.

Miyuu Kihara partnered Miyu Nagasaki to a somewhat surprise opening round women’s doubles success  (Photo: Rémy Gros)
More success for first time pairs

Mixed Doubles: Round One

Success for first time pairs on international duty was the theme in the opening round of the mixed doubles event; Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto and Kasumi Ishikawa were not to be left out but of the new pairings they endured the toughest examination. The no.7 seeds, they needed the full five games to beat Jesus Cantero and Maria Xiao (11-3, 11-2, 12-14, 11-13, 11-7).

“We played well in the first two games but later in the third game, I made a lot of mistakes; then I felt very nervous. In the deciding game, my partner Ishikawa encouraged me a lot. We have only practised together for a very short time before this tournament.” Tomokazu Harimoto

Nerves settled

Mixed Doubles: Round One

A new partnership and a successful start; China’s Xu Xin and Chen Meng, the no.5 seeds, beat the French combination of Emmanuel Lebesson and Yuan Jia Nan (7-11, 11-4, 12-10, 11-3).

“I felt a bit nervous during but I think my performance was better than expected. This is my first mixed doubles match. My partner Xu Xin gave me a lot of encouragement so I felt more relaxed later.” Chen Meng

“The China Open is full of strong players. No matter who we play against, we need to make a full preparation. We lost the first game but we took second and fourth games easier. There are still lot of things for us to consider and learn from this match.” Xu Xin

Emmanuel Lebesson (left) and (right) Yuan Jia Nan beaten by Xu Xin and Cheng Meng (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Third seeds fall, yesterday’s heroes follow

Mixed Doubles: Round One

Hong Kong’s Ho Kwan Kit and Lee Ho Ching, the no.3 seeds, experienced an opening round mixed doubles exit, they were beaten by DPR Korea’s Ham Yu Song and Cha Hyo Sim (10-12, 11-7, 11-9, 8-11, 11-1).

Success for Ham Yu Song and Cha Hyo Sim but for colleagues An Ji Song and Kim Nam Hae, who the previous day had beaten China’s Fan Zhendong and Ding Ning (12-10, 14-12, 11-9), it was defeat. They suffered at the hands of Chinese Taipei’s Lu Yun-Ju and Cheng I-Ching, the no.4 seeds (11-9, 11-7, 10-12, 11-4).

Quick understanding

Mixed Doubles: Round One

A first appearance on the international stage, Japan’s Koki Niwa and Mima Ito have clearly established a good understanding; in the opening round of the mixed doubles event they beat Slovakia’s Lubomir Pistej and Barbora Balazova, the no.2 seeds (11-6, 7-11, 13-11, 13-11).

Problems for the second seeds, not for the top seeds; Hong Kong’s Wong Chun Ting and Doo Hoi Kem accounted for Laurens Tromer and Britt Eerland of the Netherlands in straight games (11-9, 11-5, 11-7).

Mima Ito returns service, Koki Niwa awaits in anticipation (Photo: Rémy Gros)


Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour Platinum China Open: Schedule of Play Thursday 30th June to Sunday 2nd June

World Tour 2019 Seamaster China Open 2017 El Salvador Junior & Cadet Open Shenzhen

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Day 4 - Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour China Open

Match Highlights

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Day 4 - 2017 ITTF El Salvador Junior & Cadet Open

Match Highlights