13 Jun 2019

Places in the main draw to be decided, the concluding day of qualification, Thursday 13th June, at the Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour Platinum Lion Japan Open presents a host of intriguing contests.

Follow the action from Sapporo.....

Ruwen Filus upsets ranking, brings day to a close

Men’s Singles: Qualification

Germany’s Ruwen Filus brought the day to a close by beating India’s Sathiyan Gnanasekaran (11-8, 11-9, 12-10, 11-8), at no.24 on the current men’s world rankings, the second highest rated player on qualification stage duty behind Japan’s Yuya Oshima. Ruwen Filus is presently listed at no.83 in the world order.

Sathiyan Gnanasekaran was never comfortable against the changes made by Ruwen Filus, as he varied his tactics from attacking to defensive play and vice versa.

Ruwen Filus who beat Sathiyan Gnanasekaran (Photo: Hussein Sayed)
Yuki Hirano beats Tiago Apolonia

Men’s Singles: Qualification

The host nation’s Yuki Hirano was very much the man in form in the third preliminary round of the men’s singles event. He beat Portugal’s Tiago Apolonia in five games (11-6, 11-8, 10-12, 11-5, 12-10).

Presently Yuki Hirano is listed at no.126 on the men’s world rankings, Tiago Apolonia at no.43.

Sun Wen causes major upset

Men’s Singles: Qualification

Beaten in the second round in Portugal earlier in the year by Sweden’s Truls Moregard (11-5, 11-5, 7-11, 11-6, 11-8), his one and only prior open international tournament appearance; most adept returning service over the table in the modern day backhand top spin manner, China’s Sun Wen caused a major third round qualification upset.

Listed at no.599 on the current men’s world rankings; he beat Egypt’s Omar Assar, named at no.65 in five games (13-15, 12-10, 11-3, 11-4, 11-8).

Omar Assar beaten by Sun Wen (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Compatriots but no love lost

Men’s Singles: Qualification

Yang Heng-Wei caused a major third preliminary round upset. He beat Chinese national team colleague, Chen Chien-An by the very narrowest of margins (11-9, 7-11, 8-11, 3-11, 11-6, 12-10, 13-11) after having led 10-7 and 11-10 in the seventh.

Currently, Yang Heng-Wei is listed at no.228 on the men’s world rankings, Chen Chien-An at no.36.

Top name progresses

Men’s Singles: Qualification

Japan’s Yuya Oshima, the leading name on qualification stage duty, reserved his main draw place.

He beat Korea Republic’s Choi Deokhwa (11-9, 11-9, 11-6, 9-11, 11-7).

A place in the main draw for Yuya Oshima (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Commonwealth Games champion departs

Women’s Singles: Qualification

China’s He Zhoujia, runner up at last year’s Grand Finals, beat India’s Manika Batra, the reigning Commonwealth Games champion, to reserve her main draw place.

She won in six games (11-5, 11-6, 8-11, 14-12, 9-11, 11-8).

Wang Yidi departs

Women’s Singles: Qualification

Winner of the women’s singles event four days earlier in Hong Kong, in Sapporo it was a third preliminary round exit for Wang Yidi.

She was beaten by colleague Wu Yang (11-7, 11-4, 11-7, 8-11, 11-9).

Defeat for Wang Yidi at the hands of Wu Yang (Photo: courtesy of Hong Kong Table Tennis Association Ltd)
Success for Hong Kong

Women’s Singles: Qualification

Hong Kong’s Minnie Soo Wai Yam and Lee Ho Ching both emerged successful in the third preliminary round of the women’s singles qualification event.

Lee Ho Ching saved match point after match point in thr sixth game before beating Korea Republic’s Kim Hayeong (11-9, 13-15, 11-6, 10-12, 6-11, 16-14, 11-7), the win coming after Minnie Soo Wai Yam had rather more comfortably beaten Norway’s Ma Wenting (6-11, 11-5, 11-5, 11-8, 11-4, 11-5).

Sun Yingsha succeeds but tested

Women’s Singles: Qualification

Winner in 2017, China’s Sun Yingsha duly booked her place in the main draw but she was tested.

She needed the full seven games to beat Portugal’s Shao Jieni (11-2, 11-1, 5-11, 7-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-4).

Sun Yingsha who beat Shao Jieni (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Puerto Ricans in harmony

Men’s Doubles: Qualification

Success for Brian Afanador and Daniel Gonzalez against the Korea Republic’s Kim Daewoo and Kim Donghyun (11-9, 11-7, 11-9) was very much a performance that caught the eye; the Puerto Ricans were in harmony.

Defeat for Kim Daewoo and Kim Donghyun but not in the corresponding men’s doubles qualification round contest; Kim Byunghyeon and Kim Minhyeok accounted for the Greek partnership of Panagiotis Gionis and Ioannis Sgouropoulos in straight games (11-7, 11-6, 11-9).

Controlled defence

Women’s Doubles: Qualification

Classic defensive play, exquisite movement, the host nation’s Haruna Ojio and Yumeno Soma emerged successful in the one required women’s doubles qualification contest.

They beat Serbia’s Sabina Surjan and Izabela Lupulesku in  five games (9-11, 11-3, 9-11, 11-8, 11-8).

Yumeno Soma partnered proved the ideal partner for Sabina Surjan (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Mixed fortunes for Poland

Mixed Doubles: Qualification

It was mixed fortunes for Poland in the qualification round to determine mixed doubles places in the main draw.

Jakub Dyjas and Natalia Partyka lost to Korea Republic’s Cho Daeseong and Shin Yubin (11-9, 16-14, 14-12); conversely Marek Badowski and Natalia Bajor overcame Portugal’s Tiago Apolonia and Shao Jieni (8-11, 11-5, 11-9, 11-6).

We meet again

Mixed Doubles: Qualification

They met in the qualification stage of the mixed doubles event one week earlier in Hong Kong, in Sapporo they met again; the verdict the same.

In the Queen Elizabeth Stadium Tomokazu Harimoto and Hina Hayata had beaten Puerto Rico’s Daniel Gonzalez and Melanie Diaz in four games (11-7, 9-11, 11-4, 11-6); on home soil they prevailed in straight games (11-8, 11-7, 11-9).

Successful in Hong Kong, for Hina Hayata (left) and (right) Tomokazu Harimoto, it was same again in Sapporo (Photo: courtesy of Hong Kong Table Tennis Association Ltd)


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