14 Jun 2019

On a dramatic opening day in Sapporo we've seen defending singles champions Tomokazu Harimoto and Mima Ito experience shock round one exits and there's plenty more exciting action on the way.

Follow the first day of play, Friday 14th June, at the Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour Platinum Lion Japan Open.

Biggest upset of the day

We’ve seen a number of shock results on the opening day in Sapporo, but which one stood out for you?

The Dragon pulls off narrow escape

Men’s Singles: Round Two

Well that was a close one! Ma Long ‘The Dragon’ is through to the third round of play in Sapporo, but only just, following a tense full distance battle with Korea Republic’s Jeoung Youngsik (11-9, 7-11, 11-9, 9-11, 9-11, 12-10, 11-5).

Ninth seed Lee Sangsu suffered a heavy defeat against Chinese qualifier Sun Wen (11-3, 8-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-7), a player who is starting to make a real name for himself in Sapporo. However, there was some success for Korea to celebrate as no.8 seed Jang Woojin cruised to a 4-0 win over Dimitrij Ovtcharov (11-7, 11-8, 11-9, 11-7).

Lin Yun-Ju storms to sensational victory

Men’s Singles: Round Two

Winner one week ago in Hong Kong but Lin Gaoyuan won’t be making it back-to-back title successes in Sapporo after succumbing to a second round defeat in the men’s singles draw. Trailing by two games but Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yun-Ju crucially won game three by a narrow 21-19 margin before going on to win games four, five and six to eliminate the second seed (9-11, 9-11, 21-19, 11-9, 11-7, 11-9).

Hitomi Sato stuns Ding Ning!

Women’s Singles: Round Two

Wow! What an upset! On a day that has seen several top Japanese players suffer elimination, it was one of the host nation’s very own competitors that pulled off one of the biggest upsets of day one with Hitomi Sato prevailing over Ding Ning.

Down on the scoreboard by the conclusion of game three but Hitomi Sato held her nerve, showing great courage and maturity to win the following three games in front of the home crowd (12-10, 6-11, 3-11, 12-10, 11-6, 11-9).

Kasumi Ishikawa knocked out

Women’s Singles: Round Two

It’s further bad news for Japan’s women’s singles hopefuls with Kasumi Ishikawa the next big name to fall. China’s Sun Yingsha was responsible for the outcome, producing a fine performance to see off the sixth seed in straight games (11-8, 11-6, 11-5, 11-6).

World champion Liu Shiwen was forced to recover from a 1-2 deficit against no.16 seed Jeon Jihee but eventually got the job done to beat the Korean 4-2 (6-11, 11-5, 7-11, 11-3, 11-5, 11-3).

Top seeds eliminated

Mixed Doubles: Quarter-Finals

Left feeling disappointed with his singles campaign in Sapporo but Tomokazu Harimoto can at least reflect upon his mixed doubles journey in a positive light after he paired up with Hina Hayata to beat Korean top seeds Lee Sangsu and Jeon Jihee to a place in the semi-finals (11-6, 11-9, 11-6).

Gold medal winners in Shenzhen and Hong Kong, Lin Yun-Ju and Cheng I-Ching are now a couple of victories away from potentially making it three mixed doubles titles in a row as the Chinese Taipei pair proved too strong for Koki Niwa and Mima Ito (11-9, 11-8, 4-11, 11-7).

Tomokazu Harimoto and Hina Hayata see off top seeds (Photo: courtesy of Hong Kong Table Tennis Association Ltd)
Not to be for brave Puerto Rican duo

Men’s Doubles: Quarter-Finals

Claiming a shock opening round victory over second seeds Lam Siu Hang and Wong Chun Ting but the journey concluded one round later for Puerto Rico’s Brian Afanador and Daniel Gonzalez, who lost out to fellow qualifiers Benedikt Duda and Qiu Dang of Germany across four games (8-11, 12-10, 11-6, 11-8).

We also lost top seeds Liao Cheng-Ting and Lin Yun-Ju with the Chinese Taipei pair falling to a 3-0 defeat at the hands of the no.6 seeds from China, Fan Zhendong and Xu Xin (11-4, 11-4, 11-4).

Disappointment for Hong Kong partnerships

Women’s Doubles: Quarter-Finals

Despite holding two of the top three seeding positions in Sapporo the women’s doubles crown won’t be heading to a combination representing Hong Kong.

Second seeds Doo Hoi Kem and Minnie Soo Wai Yam were well beaten in their meeting with Chinese no.5 seeds Chen Meng and Liu Shiwen (11-6, 11-7, 11-9) while third seeds Lee Ho Ching and Ng Wing Nam lost out to Japanese no.8 seeds Miyuu Kihara and Miyu Nagasaki (11-5, 11-6, 2-11, 11-6).

Minnie Soo Wai Yam and Doo Hoi Kem take their leave (Photo: courtesy of Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour Platinum Lion Japan Open)
Strong start for Dima

Men’s Singles: Round One

Looking to make a good impression in Sapporo, Dimitrij Ovtcharov is off to a strong start in the men’s singles campaign with the German star successfully progressing from his opening round encounter against Japan’s Yuki Hirano (11-7, 4-11, 11-2, 11-3, 11-8).

Another major contender for silverware, Ma Long will also take his place in the Round of 16 following a convincing victory against up-and-coming Korean player An Jaehyun (11-8, 11-8, 8-11, 11-6, 11-6).

Full distance thrillers

Men’s Singles: Round One

Hugo Calderano, Jeoung Youngsik and Chuang Chih-Yuan are all breathing a sigh of relief after all three players negotiated their opening round fixtures by narrow 4-3 margins.

Seventh seed for the event, Brazil’s Hugo Calderano was pushed right down to the wire by the host nation’s Takuya Jin in an exciting contest (11-2, 8-11, 12-10, 8-11, 11-7, 8-11, 11-6) while Korean no.15 seed Jeoung Youngsik and Chinese Taipei qualifier Chuang Chih-Yuan saw off Yan An (6-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-2, 12-10, 5-11, 11-6) and Lim Jonghoon (7-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-8, 7-11, 11-5, 11-7).

Close shave but Hugo Calderano stays in the race (Photo: Rémy Gros)
China’s elite progress

Women’s Singles: Round One

Seeded first and second respectively, China’s Ding Ning and Chen Meng are through to round two in Sapporo following solid outings against Zhang Rui (11-5, 11-3, 11-8, 11-4) and Hina Hayata (3-11, 11-9, 12-10, 8-11, 11-8, 11-7).

Third seed Wang Manyu also advances beyond the opening hurdle courtesy of a six games victory over Wu Yang (12-10, 11-9, 7-11, 5-11, 11-4, 11-7). However, the biggest shoutout goes to qualifier Liu Fei, who posted a sensational 4-1 win at the expense of Chinese Taipei no.8 seed Cheng I-Ching (13-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-7).

Mima Ito defeated, no repeat outcome!

Women’s Singles: Round One

The home crowd is left disappointed as no.7 seed Mima Ito suffers elimination in round one of the women’s singles draw, losing out to China’s Gu Yuting 4-2 (7-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-9, 12-14, 12-10).

Defeat for Tomokazu Harimoto earlier in the day means that both singles titles have been unsuccessfully defended in Sapporo after just one round of action!

Ruwen Filus and Maharu Yoshimura add to list of upsets

Men’s Singles: Round One

Maharu Yoshimura and Ruwen Filus both hit form and added to the list of upsets.

In the opening round of the men’s singles event Kazuhiro Yoshimura beat colleague Koki Niwa, the no.10 seed (11-4, 1-11, 11-9, 13-11, 5-11, 15-13); Ruwen Filus accounted for Hong Kong’s Wong Chun Ting, the no.14 seed (9-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-5, 11-7, 11-9).

Defence secure, Ruwen Filus beat Wong Chun Ting (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Chinese trio progresses

Men’s Singles: Round One

The top three seeds, China’s Fan Zhendong, Lin Gaoyuan and Xu Xin all negotiated the opening round of the men’s singles event in some style.

Fan Zhendong beat colleague Zheng Peifeng (11-9, 11-3, 11-8, 7-11, 11-5), Lin Gaoyuan overcame Chinese Taipei’s Yang Heng-Wei (11-8, 11-8, 11-3, 11-7). Likewise Xu Xin ended the hopes of Japan’s Yuya Oshima (11-9, 12-10, 11-4, 11-8).

Tomokazu Harimoto falls at first hurdle

Men’s Singles: Round One

Beaten in the second round at the Seamaster 2019 ITTF Challenge Portugal Open in Lisbon earlier in the year by Sweden’s Truls Moregard, his one and only previous appearance in an international open tournament, China Sun Wen caused a first round men’s singles sensation.

He beat the host nation’s Tomokazu Harimoto, the no.4 seed, in straight games (11-8, 11-5, 11-7, 11-5).

“I am happy to have won against him. He is on of the top players in the world, I am really happy for the win. I was mentally prepared for the match and played my best against him. Perhaps the pressure of playing at home got to him but I realise I had more time and space than expected against him. I am thankful for the trust my coaches put in me and hopefully I did not disappoint.” Sun Wen

Notably the coach sitting courtside was Chen Qi, the winner of the men’s doubles title partnering Ma Lin at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.

“Harimoto is currently the main competitor for the Chinese team and very highly ranked on the world ranking, playing on home soil also gives him a lot of pressure, so in comparison, Sun Wen had better mentality going into the game.” Chen Qi

Tomokazu Harimoto beaten by Sun Wen (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Chinese duo progresses

Women’s Singles: Round One

China’s Sun Yingsha and He Zhuojia both upset the seeding in the opening round of the women’s singles event.

Sun Yingsha beat Korea Republic’s Suh Hyowon, the no.10 seed (11-2, 11-5, 11-5, 11-5), He Zhuojia ended the hopes of Singapore’s Feng Tianwei, the no.12 seed (13-11, 11-5, 11-1, 9-11, 10-12, 11-8).

Early birthday present

Women’s Singles: Round One

One day before she celebrates her 17th birthday, Japan’s Miyu Nagasaki beat China’s Zhu Yuling, the no.5 seed to secure the accolade of causing the biggest upset of the tournament to date.

Miyu Nagasaki prevailed in five games (11-6, 6-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-9).

Miyu Nagasaki who overcame Zhu Yuling (Photo: Hussein Sayed)
Puerto Ricans cause major upset

Men’s Doubles: Round One

Puerto Rico’s Brian Afanador and Daniel Gonzalez caused the biggest upset of the tournament to date.

In the first round of the men’s doubles event they best Hong Kong’s Lam Siu Hang and Wong Chun Ting, the no.2 seeds (11-7, 8-11, 4-11, 11-4, 11-8).

Differing fortunes for Japan

Men’s Doubles: Round One

It was differing fortunes for Japan in the opening round of the mixed doubles event. Masataka Morizono and Maharu Yoshimura, the no.5 seeds, lost to Germany’s Benedikt Duda and Qiu Dang (5-11, 7-11, 11-6, 11-8, 13-11).

Conversely, Shunsuke Togami and Yukiya Uda accounted for the combination of Poland’s Jakub Dyjas Belgium’s Cédric Nuytinck, the 7 seed (11-6, 11-8, 11-2).

Benedikt Duda joined forces with Qiu Dang to beat Masataka Morizono and Maharu Yoshimura (Photo: Hussein Sayed)
Hong Kong success

Women’s Doubles: Round One

Hard earned wins, Hong Kong’s Doo Hoi Kem and Minnie Soo Wai Yam, the no.2 seeds, made a successful start in their bid for honours in the women’s doubles event; they beat Korea Republic’s Lee Yujin and Park Joohyun (11-4, 12-14, 11-7, 11-4). Likewise there was success for colleagues, Lee Ho Ching and Ng Wing Nam, the no.3 seeds; they accounted for Japan’s Haruna Ojio and Yumeno Soma (11-5, 8-11, 5-11, 11-9, 11-5).

Success for Hong Kong; there was also success for China; Sun Yingsha and Wang Manyu, the top seeds, beat Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz and Melanie Diaz (11-4, 11-5, 7-11, 11-3); Chen Meng and Liu Shiwen, the no.5 seeds, overcame Japan’s Kyoka Idesawa and Satsuki Odo (11-8, 11-7, 11-3).

Polish duo upset seeding

Women’s Doubles: Round One

Poland’s Natalia Bajor and Natalia Partyka caused biggest upset in the opening round of the women’s doubles event. They accounted for Singapore’s Lin Ye and Zeng Jian, the no.4 seeds (11-9, 11-4, 11-13, 11-8).

The success was the second upset of the round; earlier Korea Republic’s Choi Hyojoo and Kim Jiho had beaten Chinese Taipei’s Li Yu-Jhun and Liu Hsing-Ting, the no.7 seeds (11-6, 11-7, 12-10).

Natalia Bajor (front) and (rear) Natalia Partyka, successful in opposition to Lin Ye and Zeng Jian (Photo: Alvaro Diaz)
Third seeds fall

Mixed Doubles: Round One

Korea Republic’s Cho Daeseong and Shin Yubin caused the biggest upset in the opening round of the mixed doubles event; they beat Hong Kong’s Ho Kwan Kit and Lee Ho Ching, the no.3 seeds (9-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-9, 11-9).

Success for Cho Daeseong and Shin Yubin followed success for colleagues, Lee Sangsu and Jeon Jihee, the top seeds. They beat Serbia’s Aleksandar Karakasevic and Izabela Lupulesku (11-6, 13-11, 4-11, 11-5).

Chinese and Japanese pairs make fine starts

Mixed Doubles: Round One

Fan Zhendong and Ding Ning made a positive start to their campaign as did Chinese national team colleagues Xu Xin and Zhu Yuling. In the opening round of the mixed doubles event Fan Zhendong and Ding Ning  beat Hungary’s Adam Szudi and Szandra Pergel (11-4, 8-11, 11-7, 11-4); Xu Xin and Zhu Yuling, the no.5 seeds, beat India’s Sharath Kamal Achanta and Manika Batra (11-8, 11-7, 11-5).

Likewise, Japan’s Koki Niwa and Mima Ito, the no.8 seeds, overcame Puerto Rico’s Brian Afanador and Adriana Diaz(11-6, 11-9, 11-13, 11-9); Tomokazu Harimoto and Hina Hayata received a walk-over when scheduled to face Slovakia’s Lubomir Pistej and Tatiana Kukulkova, the no.7 seeds.

A successful start for Mima Ito (nearest camera) and Koki Niwa (Photo: Rémy Gros)


Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour Platinum Lion Japan Open: Main Draw Schedule – Friday 14th – Sunday 16th June

World Tour 2019 Seamaster LION Japan Open Sapporo

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Day 2 - 2019 ITTF World Tour LION Japan Open

Match Highlights