Day ends on good note for hosts
The day ended on a good note for the hosts; in the first men’s doubles preliminary round, Kwan Man Ho and Li Hon Ming combined to beat Puerto Rico’s Brian Afanador and Daniel Gonzalez in five games (14-12, 11-6, 4-11, 10-12, 11-7).
A full distance win for Kwan Man Ho and Li Hon Ming, it was the same for three further pairs as the day concluded. India’s Amalraj Anthony and Manav Vikash Thakkar beat Slovakia’s Alexander Valuch and Wang Yang (7-11, 10-12, 11-5, 11-4, 11-6); Italy’s Mihai Bobocica and Niagol Stoyanov accounted for Korea Republic’s Kim Daewoo and Kim Donghyun (11-8, 11-9, 7-11, 11-13, 13-11).
However none could compare with the Czech Republic’s Tomas Polansky and Pavel Sirucek; they saved four match points in the deciding game against Sweden’s Anton Källberg and Truls Moregard before emerging successful (12-10, 11-8, 6-11, 6-11, 12-10).
Russians in form
Russia’s Alexey Liventsov and Mikhail Paikov gave the performance of the round; they beat Japan’s Jun Mizutani and Koki Niwa in three straight games (11-9, 11-6, 9-11, 11-6).
“This is our first time playing against these two Japanese players. We are happy to win this match. We have been men’s doubles partners for five years and have good communications. I think it’s not so easy for our opponents because both of them are left-handed. We hope we can keep this level and continue to play till the final stage of the tournament.” Alexey Liventsov
Austrians win full distance encounter
Austria’s Yui Hamamoto and Sofia Polcanova won the closest match of first women’s doubles preliminary round.
They beat Serbia’s Izabela Lupulesku and Sabina Surjan in five games (9-11, 11-9, 11-7, 10-12, 11-6).
Japanese teenagers stun
Japan’s 14 year old Miyuu Kihara and 16 years of age Miyu Nagasaki, winners earlier in the year at the ITTF Challenge Series tournaments in both Slovenia and Croatia gave a stunning performance in the opening preliminary round of the women’s doubles event.
They beat China’s He Zhuojia and Qian Tianyi in straight games (11-3, 12-10, 11-5).
Disappointment for Thailand
Thailand’s Supanut Wisutmaythangkoon and Orawan Paranang alongside Padasak Tanviriyavechakul and Suthasini Sawettabut both experienced opening preliminary round mixed doubles defeats.
Supanut Wisutmaythangkoon and Orawan Paranang lost to Brazil’s Eric Jouti and Bruna Takahashi (11-2, 11-7, 8-11, 11-9), Padasak Tanviriyavechakul and Suthasini Sawettabut suffered at the hands of Russia’s Kirill Skachkov and Olga Vorobeva (11-9, 11-5, 11-3).
Another Japanese option
First time together and one of several formations in mind as Japan prepares for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Tomokazu Harimoto and Hina Hayata made a successful start to their campaign. In the opening preliminary round of the mixed doubles event, they beat Puerto Rico’s Daniel Gonzalez and Melanie Diaz in four games (11-7, 9-11, 11-4, 11-6).
“We are happy that we won the first ever mixed doubles as a combination. It’s my first appearance in mixed doubles at an international open. I hope we can improve in the coming matches.” Hina Hayata
“I think we played well overall. There is room for improvement in my serve and receive. We have only practiced five or six times, we look forward to the coming matches.” Tomokazu Harimoto
Flying the flag
Mak Tze Wing and Zhu Chengzhu very much flew the flag for Hong Kong in the opening preliminary round of the women’s singles event.
In a hard fought seven games contest Mak Tze Wing beat India’s Krittwika Roy (11-6, 11-6, 8-11, 4-11, 11-4, 6-11, 11-9); rather less dramatically Zhu Chengzhu accounted for Thailand’s Tamolwan Khetkhuan (11-4, 11-4, 11-9, 11-6).
ITTF World Tour winners advance
China’s Mu Zi and Feng Yalan, both past winners on the ITTF World Tour emerged successful in their opening preliminary round matches but they were tested. Mu Zi needed six games to beat Spain’s Liu Xin (11-8, 8-11, 11-7, 10-12, 11-8, 11-6), in an even closer contest Feng Yalan required seven games to end the hopes of Austria’s Yui Hamamoto (11-1, 11-13, 11-8, 4-11, 11-8, 5-11, 11-3).
On the ITTF World Tour, Mu Zi won in 2015 in Sweden, Feng Yalan in 2010 in Germany followed by success in 2012 in both Kuwait and Russia.
Early exit for Slovenian champion
Winner at the Seamaster 2019 ITTF Challenge Series Slovenia Open just over three weeks ago, Croatia’s Wei Shihao experienced a first preliminary round men’s singles defeat. He was beaten by Slovakia’s in form Lubomir Pistej (11-9, 11-6, 11-8, 6-11, 9-11, 11-5). Last week in Shenzhen Lubomir Pistej had beaten Korea Republic’s Jang Woojin (11-9, 1-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-4, 11-9), before losing to China’s Fsan Zhendong (11-7, 7-11, 11-0, 11-8, 12-10).
“It’s my first time to play in Hong Kong. I am very happy to win against Wei Shihao. He won the Slovenian Open and is in a good shape. I played against him a few weeks ago and I am glad that I was able to play my game and used good tactics. The China Open was like a dream for me as I made it to the top 16. I hope I could play in that level in other opens.” Lubomir Pistej
Differing fortunes for Chinese Taipei
Full distance seven game matches, it was success for Chinese Taipei’s Peng Wang-Wei but defeat for colleague, Wang Tai-Wei.
Peng Wang-Wei beat Korea Republic’s Kim Minhyeok (7-11, 12-10, 11-7, 11-6, 10-12, 5-11, 11-8), soon after Wang Tai-Wei experienced defeat at the hands of Germany’s Qiu Dang (9-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-6).
Zheng Peifeng tested
China’s Zheng Peifeng, winner last year in the Czech Republic made a successful start to his campaign but he was tested. He needed the full seven games to beat Frenchman, Benjamin Brossier (11-5, 8-11, 11-6, 11-8, 8-11, 7-11, 11-5).
A narrow defeat for one Frenchman, for another there was a narrow success; Antoine Hachard accounted for Brazil’s Thiago Monteiro (11-4, 4-11, 11-5, 9-11, 7-11, 11-4, 11-7).
Close matches continue
Hard fought matches continued in the preliminary round of the men’s singles event. Chinese Taipei’s Liao Cheng-Ting needed the full seven games to beat Portugal’s Diogo Chen (7-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-4, 7-11, 10-12, 11-7).
Likewise, the Czech Republic’s Tomas Polansky eventually overcame Croatia’s Andrej Gacina (11-7, 11-7, 11-13, 6-11, 10-12, 11-2, 11-6); England’s Paul Drinkhall, trailing 5-7 in the decider against Senegal’s Ibrahima Diaw reeled off six points in a row to secure victory (5-11, 11-9, 4-11, 11-4, 8-11, 11-6, 11-7).
Mixed fortunes for Russia
Full distance seven games contests, it was mixed fortunes for Russia as the first preliminary round of the men’s singles event progressed.
Mikhail Paikov beat Frenchman, Quentin Robinot (5-11, 10-12, 11-8, 11-7, 11-7, 7-11, 11-7); conversely, Sadi Ismailov lost to Brazil’s Eric Jouti (11-8, 11-8, 8-11, 8-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-3).
Good news for Hong Kong
Defeat for Li Hong Ming and Pau Yik Man but soon after there was success for Hong Kong, Lam Siu Hang beat Slovakia’s Alexander Valuch (11-4, 9-11, 11-5, 7-11, 11-9, 11-7)
“I am happy that I won my first match. The second game I was not determined enough so I lost it. After talking to the coach, I gained some confidence and got the third set. I enjoy playing in the home stadium and hope to get good results in Hong Kong.” Lam Siu Hang
Closest match of tournament concluded on opening morning?
Has the closest match of the tournament already been played? On the morning of the opening day of action in the first preliminary round of the men’s singles event, Hungary’s Adam Szudi beat Austria’s Stefan Fegerl in a titanic duel (5-11, 11-7, 11-7, 18-16, 9-11, 4-11, 17-15).
Also there was a close success for Germany’s Ruwen Filus, the recent winner at the Seamaster 2019 ITTF Challenge Series tournament in Thailand. He had to withstand a brave recovery by Denmark’s Tobias Rasmussen (11-7, 11-3, 11-7, 1-11, 9-11, 8-11, 11-7).
Disappointing start for hosts
It was not the best of starts for the host nation, in the opening preliminary round of the men’s singles event both Li Hong Ming and Pau Yik Man experienced defeats.
Li Hong Ming after winning the opening two games was beaten by England’s Sam Walker (3-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-8, 11-4); Pau Yik Man suffered at the hands of India’s Amalraj Anthony (11-8, 11-2, 10-12, 11-5, 11-5).
Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour, Hang Seng Hong Kong Open: Qualification Schedule – Tuesday 4th & Wednesday 5th May