12 Jun 2019

The first two rounds of the men's singles event, the opening round of the women's singles competition; such is the agenda on the initial day of qualification, Wednesday 12th June, for places in the Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour Platinum Lion Japan Open.

Follow the action from Sapporo....

Manika Batra survives difficult test

Women’s Singles: Preliminary Round Two

2018 Commonwealth Games champion, India’s Manika Batra was pushed right down to the wire in her second preliminary round encounter with Lee Zion, requiring the full seven game distance to see off the Korean (11-9, 6-11, 11-3, 7-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-8).

Another player who experienced a tight contest was China’s He Zhuojia, holding off a brave fight from the host nation’s Haruna Ojio (5-11, 11-3, 11-8, 11-9, 8-11, 9-11, 11-9).

Commonwealth Games champion stays in the race (Photo: courtesy of Hong Kong Table Tennis Association Ltd)
Puerto Rican star falls short

Women’s Singles: Preliminary Round Two

One of the leading names Puerto Rico has to offer but Adriana Diaz won’t be playing any further part in the women’s singles qualification tournament in Sapporo following her six games defeat to Korea Republic’s Yoon Hyobin (11-9, 7-11, 5-11, 15-13, 11-4, 11-6).

Yoon Hyobin’s fellow compatriot Ji Eunchae also came away with an impressive result, prevailing over Japanese defensive star Honoka Hashimoto 4-3 (12-14, 15-13, 11-2, 10-12, 11-3, 9-11, 13-11).

Major names suffer eliminations

Women’s Singles: Preliminary Round Two

We won’t be seeing big-name stars such as Li Qian, Chen Szu-Yu or Miyu Kato in the main draw after all three players fell in preliminary round two.

Poland’s Li Qian failed to convert a three games to one lead as she lost out to Kim Hayeong by a 4-3 margin (9-11, 7-11, 11-4, 9-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-9) while Chinese Taipei’s Chen Szu-Yu and Japan’s very own Miyu Kato were defeated at the hands of Che Xiaoxi (7-11, 12-10, 11-5, 11-6, 11-6) and Liu Hsing-Yin (9-11, 11-3, 11-9, 11-9, 9-11, 11-9).

A brace of wins for Singapore

Women’s Singles: Preliminary Round Two

Singapore’s Yu Mengyu and Zeng Jian successfully negotiated their respective preliminary round two fixtures in the race for women’s singles qualification, defeating opposition from Korea Republic and Japan.

Needing six games to get the job done Yu Mengyu brought Shin Yubin’s qualification hopes to a halt (8-11, 11-6, 12-10, 5-11, 11-9, 11-3) while Zeng Jian came out on top against Mizuki Morizono (11-6, 11-9, 10-12, 11-3, 11-8).

Tricky encounter but Yu Mengyu moves through (Photo: courtesy of Hong Kong Table Tennis Association Ltd)
Host nation cheers for Mizuki Oikawa

Men’s Singles: Preliminary Round Two

Japanese hopeful Mizuki Oikawa has caused quite a stir in the second round of preliminary action, producing a mighty display against Hong Kong’s Ho Kwan Kit (11-8, 11-5, 11-4, 11-8).

Kazuhiro Yoshimura is also through but there is no spot for Kenta Matsudaira in the next round of qualification following his six games loss to China’s Zhang Yudong (11-6, 11-8, 9-11, 11-2, 9-11, 11-8).

Panagiotis Gionis suffers unexpected exit

Men’s Singles: Preliminary Round Two

Ranked 90 positions higher than his opponent in the latest world rankings table but Greek defender Panagiotis Gionis experienced defeat at the hands of Peng Wang-Wei in preliminary round two, losing out to the Chinese Taipei competitor by a 4-3 margin (12-14, 11-8, 11-8, 11-6, 6-11, 3-11, 11-8).

Spectators also witnessed Wang Yang’s shock departure with the Slovak player falling to the host nation’s Takuya Jin (12-10, 11-8, 10-12, 11-3, 11-4).

Qualification disappointment for Panagiotis Gionis (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Koreans get the better of European opposition

Men’s Singles: Preliminary Round Two

Hwang Minha pulled off quite an upset in his second qualification fixture in Sapporo with the Korea Republic player emerging victorious over Poland’s Jakub Dyjas in a fascinating seven game encounter (8-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-7, 7-11, 4-11, 11-9).

Elsewhere, there was success for another Korean representative as Cho Seungmin held the upper hand in his meeting with young Swedish star Truls Moregard (11-9, 12-10, 9-11, 11-8, 0-11, 12-10).

On the brink but Chen Chien-An avoids defeat

Men’s Singles: Preliminary Round Two

Chinese Taipei’s Chen Chien-An was forced to recover from a tight position in his preliminary round two encounter, requiring an air of calm to fight back from 2-3 behind on his way to a 4-3 victory over Poland’s Marek Badowski (11-7, 11-7, 7-11, 12-14, 5-11, 11-6, 11-6).

Another exciting match saw Yan An prevail over fellow Chinese colleague Wang Chuqin across six games (10-12, 11-8, 11-9, 11-7, 8-11, 11-9).

Narrow escape for Chen Chien-An (Photo: courtesy of Hong Kong Table Tennis Association Ltd)
Kyoka Idesawa causes major upset

Women’s Singles: Preliminary Round One

The match that brought the opening qualification round of the women’s singles event to a close proved to be the contest that caused the biggest upset.

Japan’s Kyoka Idesawa accounted for Germany’s Shan Xiaona in a hard fought seven games duel (11-8, 11-7, 7-11, 9-11, 13-11, 10-12, 11-8); notably in 2014 on home soil in Magdeburg Shan Xiaona emerged successful at the ITTF World Tour German Open.

Chinese duo Survives

Women’s Singles: Preliminary Round One

Close calls but the aspiring Chinese duo of Lui Fei and Che Xiaoxi both emerged successful in their opening round women’s singles qualification round one contests.

Lui Fei eventually overcame Korea Republic’s Yoo Eunchong (18-16, 11-7, 9-11, 11-9, 9-11, 10-12, 11-3): Che Xiaoxi ended the hopes of Japan’s Hatsume Mataki (15-13, 9-11, 11-3, 4-11, 14-16, 11-5, 13-11). Likewise there was success by the very narrowest of decisions for India’s Ayhika Mukherjee; she accounted for Kin Byeolnim, also from Korea Republic, in a contest decided by the two point margin (11-3, 7-11, 7-11, 11-2, 6-11, 11-6, 13-11).

Narrow margins but success for Che Xiaoxi (Photo: Hussein Sayed)
Well worn phrase but true

Men’s Singles: Preliminary Round One

Experience counts, never was it more true than in the men’s singles first round qualification match between Serbia’s 43 year old Aleksandar Karakasevic and Japan’s 19 years of age Yuta Kizukuri.

Aleksandar Karakasevic emerged successful in four straight games (11-7, 11-8, 11-7, 12-10).

A sigh of relief

Men’s Singles: Preliminary Round One

Korea Republic’s Cho Daeseong accounted for the host nation’s Sora Matsushima in his opening round men’s singles qualification encounter but he was given a severe test by the 12 year old.

Cho Daeseong recovered from a two games to one deficit to secure victory (11-9, 10-12, 7-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-9).

Cho Daeseong recovered from a two games to one deficit to beat Sora Matsushima (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Differing fortunes for Europe

Men’s Singles: Preliminary Round One

There were differing fortunes at Japanese hands for Europe as play progressed in the opening round of the men’s singles qualification event; success for Sweden’s Truls Moregard, defeat for Ioannis Sgouropoulos of Greece.

Truls Moregard beat Asuka Sakai (11-8, 11-13, 11-7, 11-9, 16-14), Ioannis Sgouropoulos suffered at the hands of Kohei Sambe (11-7, 11-9, 11-5, 11-5).

High quality underlined

Men’s Singles: Preliminary Round One

The high quality present in Sapporo was underlined in the opening round of the men’s singles qualification event; China’s Yan An, winner on the ITTF World Tour in Sweden in 2013 and Hungary in 2017 was on duty.

He responded, he beat the host nation’s Kakeru Sone in five games (12-10, 7-11, 11-3, 11-8, 11-4).

Yan An who beat Kakeru Sone (Photo: Richard Kalocsai)


Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour Platinum Lion Japan Open: Qualification Schedule – Wednesday 12th & Thursday 13th June

World Tour 2019 Seamaster LION Japan Open Sapporo

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Day 2 - 2019 ITTF World Tour LION Japan Open

Match Highlights