Tournaments

08 Jun 2019

A day of decision, on Saturday 8th June at the Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour Hang Seng Hong Kong Open, the first title, the mixed doubles, will be decided; also when the day ends we will know the finalists in both the men's singles and women's singles events.

Follow the action from the Queen Elizabeth Stadium......

Tomokazu Harimoto celebrates

Men’s Singles: Semi-Final

The concluding fixture of the day has seen Japanese teenage ace Tomokazu Harimoto secure his place in the men’s singles final, negotiating a tricky encounter with China’s Zhuo Yu.

Both players produced wonderful attacking displays with plenty of stunning rallies for spectators to enjoy – the standout moment in the match arguably came in game four as Tomokazu Harimoto recovered from 1-5 down to win 11-5! Across five games it was the second seed who finished with his arms aloft in celebration (11-8, 5-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-8).

From qualifier to finalist

Women’s Singles: Semi-Final

Unseeded and therefore required to start her women’s singles campaign in the qualification tournament, now China’s Wang Yidi is just one win away from lifting the trophy in Hong Kong following another commanding display from the World no.46.

Taking on the player seeded third for the competition, Chinese Taipei’s Cheng I-Ching, Wang Yidi made full use of her lightning quick speed and superb attacking arsenal to blast her way to a 4-0 victory (11-7, 12-10, 11-7, 11-8).

“I made specific arrangements before playing Cheng I-Ching, and I think it certainly helped. I had won some games upon reaching the semi-finals and those wins boosted my confidence too. As for the final against Mima Ito tomorrow, I’ll just try my best and learn from my opponent.” Wang Yidi

Starting in the qualification rounds, Wang Yidi just one win away from women’s singles title (Photo: courtesy of Hong Kong Table Tennis Association Ltd)
Liang Jingkun halted at penultimate stage

Men’s Singles: Semi-Final

The semi-finals of the men’s singles draw proved to be the last stepping stone on Liang Jingkun’s singles journey in Hong Kong with the no.3 seed losing out to fellow Chinese colleague Lin Gaoyuan.

Establishing an early lead in the match, showing some great skill on the table but the momentum started to shift in top seed Lin Gaoyuan’s favour, winning the next four games in a row to bring the contest to a close (8-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-8, 11-6).

Mima Ito reacts

Following her six games win in the semi-finals, Japan’s Mima Ito discusses the adjustments she made to her approach ahead of the match:

“Obviously we are teammates so we know each other pretty well, therefore every point and every game matters. I did not do too well yesterday when receiving serves so I went back and studied my game – this is the key to the game! When I was leading by three games I suddenly lost my focus and concentration a bit, luckily I made some adjustments and managed to hold my nerve.” Mima Ito

Japanese stars shine in head-to-head encounter

Women’s Singles: Semi-Final

What a match we’ve just seen unfold in the women’s singles event as two of Japan’s finest young players in Mima Ito and Miu Hirano met face-to-face in a thrilling semi-final meeting.

The opening two games were decided by the narrowest of margins with second seed Mima Ito edging both in deuce, moving three ahead soon after. Miu Hirano, seeded fourth, managed to claw back two games to reduce the deficit to one but Mima Ito got the job done in game six, sealing her spot in the final (18-16, 12-10, 11-6, 9-11, 6-11, 11-7).

Mima Ito shows her strength (Photo: courtesy of Hong Kong Table Tennis Association Ltd)
Champions react

Lin Yun-Ju and Cheng I-Ching have reacted to their mixed doubles title success:

“My partnership with Cheng I-Ching is okay but we still seek to improve every game. As for the Tokyo Olympics next year, we shall just play towards it and see what is going to happen.” Lin Yun-Ju

“Winning in Hong Kong feels like mission accomplished. Our Korean opponents are quite new in terms of their partnership, thus enabling us to take advantage in the match.” Cheng I-Ching

Another title for Chinese Taipei pair

Mixed Doubles: Final

Champions last week in Shenzhen, in Hong Kong there were further celebrations for Lin Yun-Ju and Cheng I-Ching after the Chinese Taipei duo secured mixed doubles gold.

At the final hurdle fifth seeds Lin Yun-Ju and Cheng I-Ching produced an impressive performance against no.6 seeds Lee Sangsu and Choi Hyojoo, bossing the Korean partnership from start to finish with only three games being required (11-8, 11-3, 11-7).

Lin Gaoyuan recovers

Men’s Singles: Quarter-Final

Top seed Lin Gaoyuan was forced to recover from a 0-2 deficit in his men’s singles quarter-final fixture against fellow compatriot Wang Chuqin.

Drawing the scores level at 2-2 Lin Gaoyuan crucially added game five in his favour before going on to complete the comeback 4-2 (10-12, 6-11, 11-9, 11-7, 12-10, 11-7). Next up for Lin Gaoyuan is another all-China affair against no.3 seed Liang Jingkun.

Slow start but Lin Gaoyuan extends stay (Photo: courtesy of Hong Kong Table Tennis Association Ltd)
Sofia Polcanova reacts

Exiting at the quarter-final stage in Hong Kong, Sofia Polcanova reacts:

“I think this was a strange game today. We both were not very comfortable, I had problems with her services and she also had problems with mine. that is why in the first three games we both couldn’t find any rhythm. I think I was leading in the third and fourth games, but I could not take my chances. It is tough because I think I was there and I could have won. The key moments are probably at the end of each game she always made better services, she risked a lot and I did not. That is why she won.” Sofia Polcanova

Difficult test but Mima Ito moves through

Women’s Singles: Quarter-Final

Japanese star Mima Ito has come through a difficult quarter-final test in the women’s singles draw with the second seed holding off a brave attempt from Austria’s Sofia Polcanova.

No.14 seed Sofia Polcanova showed great composure throughout the match and managed to save four match point opportunities in game five. However, in the end it was Mima Ito who took the plaudits (11-8, 9-11, 12-10, 14-12, 13-11), ending European hopes in the process.

Third seed reacts to quarter-final exit

Experiencing a narrow defeat, here’s how Timo Boll reacted to his men’s singles elimination:

“I had the feeling from the beginning it was a close game. First two games I was a little bit unlucky, but I had a feeling I was on par with him. I was trying to fight back and played a little bit more precise, turning the game around. The sixth game was the key, I had my chances, but the middle of the game I lost my focus and concentration… Overall it was a good game from both of us, I am quite happy with how I played but of course disappointed I lost in the end.” Timo Boll

Timo Boll defeated!

Men’s Singles: Quarter-Final

One of the sport’s most revered names, Germany’s Timo Boll has been eliminated from the men’s singles draw in Hong Kong following a full distance encounter against Chinese qualifier Zhou Yu.

Trailing by a two games deficit but Timo Boll responded well, claiming three consecutive games to move to within one from a spot in the semi-finals. However, Zhou Yu continued to show great fighting spirit, winning back-to-back games to topple the fourth seed by a 4-3 margin (11-9, 11-9, 9-11, 9-11, 5-11, 11-9, 11-6).

Journey ends for defensive specialist

Women’s Singles: Quarter-Final

Suh Hyowon won’t be making an appearance in the last four of the women’s singles event after the no.5 seed from Korea Republic fell at the quarter-finals stage.

Possessing defensive skills to be marvelled at but on this occasion Suh Hyowon was simply outclassed, losing out to Chinese Taipei no.3 seed Cheng I-Ching 4-1 (11-4, 11-7, 11-5, 7-11, 11-8). China’s Wang Yidi awaits Cheng I-Ching in the semi-finals.

Suh Hyowon out of the women’s singles race (Photo: courtesy of Hong Kong Table Tennis Association Ltd)
Wang Yidi keeps China’s hopes alive

Women’s Singles: Quarter-Final

Staying close the table whenever possible, noticeably effective attacking fast from the backhand with short quickly executed strokes, China’s Wang Yidi, required to qualify, beat Japan’s Saki Shibata, the no.8 seed (11-6, 15-13, 5-11, 10-12, 11-4, 11-7) to keep Chinese hopes alive.

The second game proved crucial; Saki Shibata led 6-2, the deficit was reduced to one point at 7-6; Saki Shibata elected for “Time Out”; Wang Yidi levelled but at 10-8, Saki Shibata held two game points. Both were saved, both had opportunities to win the game, before at 14-13 ahead Wang Yidi called “Time Out”. It proved a prudent decision.

Tomokazu Harimoto books semi-final place

Men’s Singles: Quarter-Final

The n0.2 seed, Tomokazu Harimoto accounted for colleague, Jun Mizutani, the no.2 seed (13-11, 12-10, 11-4, 11-7, 11-9) to reserve his place in the penultimate round.

In the second game, Jun Mizutani recovered from a 4-9 deficit but there was to be no memorable recovery. Tomokazu Harimoto has now won all three encounters in world ranking tournaments. He prevailed at the Liebherr 2017 World Championships and at the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Austrian Open.

Tomokazu Harimoto once again beat Jun Mizutani (Photo: courtesy of Hong Kong Table Tennis Association Ltd)
Winning the vital points

Women’s Singles: Quarter-Final

Japan’s Miu Hirano, the no.4 seed, beat Singapore’s Feng Tianwei, the no.7 seed (11-9, 11-8, 12-10, 9-11, 11-9) to book her place in the semi-finals of the women’s singles event.

Never still, always active, it was a contest in which Miu Hirano excelled at the vital stages; in the opening game she was behind all the time until levelling at 9-all; it was very much the same in the fifth, she trailed from the start until gaining parity at 8-all and then converting on her second match point, arguably the best point of the whole match.

Liang Jingkun in control

Men’s Singles: Quarter-Final

China’s Liang Jingkun, the no.3 seed, beat Sweden’s Mattias Falck, the no.7 seed in four straight games (15-13, 11-1, 11-4, 11-8).

Win a close first game and confidence blossoms, never was the adage more true. After securing the opening game, Liang Jingkun won the first nine points of the second; in the third he went ahead 3-0, Mattias Falck called “Time Out”, it was to no avail. Throughout the Swede experienced problems returning service, he could not establish a rhythm to his play, time and again Liang Jingkun, increasingly the more positive player, secured the point before and semblance of a rally could develop.

“I only played okay, it was not too good in terms of my performance but I managed to find his weaknesses, attack and put pressure on him. I have to admit I did not expect such a one-sided scoreline though.” Liang Jingkun

Liang Jingkun who beat Mattias Falck (Photo: courtesy of Hong Kong Table Tennis Association Ltd)

 

Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour Hang Seng Hong Kong Open: Schedule for Thursday 6th – Sunday 9th June

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Day 4 - Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour Hang Seng Hong Kong Open

Match Highlights