03 Jul 2019

Follow the second day of qualification action from Busan as the race for the Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour SHINHAN Korea Open begins on Wednesday 3rd July.

China unable to dominate

Women’s singles: Preliminary Round 3

Concluding the second day of qualification, China were involved in two big matches with Liu Weishan and Liu Xi pitted against two heavyweights in Korea’s Shin Yubin and Indian Manika Batra. While Weishan came out unscathed, Xi had to deal with the explosive Batra.

The host nation’s young star Yubin looked on course for a comeback after winning the second game 11-5, but Weishan had other ideas. Quelling Shin in her tracks, Liu upped the tempo and clinched the match 4:1. As if inspired by the youngster, Manika Batra sidestepped dropping the first set and took Xi on a roller-coaster ride. In a nail-biting finish, Batra stepped into the Round of 32 winning the match 4:3 (7-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-7, 11-13, 11-6, 11-7).

Weish-ing the table clean! Liu had to pull out all the stops keeping Korean Shin Yubin from qualifying.
Japanese duo synchronize victories

Women’s singles: Preliminary Round 3

Hina Hayata and Mori Sakura were in sync for their third round qualification matches, seeing off China’s Chen Ke and their compatriot Matsudaira Shiho with much gusto respectively.

Hina was slow to start but secured a 4:2 win over Chen (7-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-9, 4-11, 11-7).  Mori possibly had the quickest game of her tournament till now, dropping no sets against Shiho (11-8, 11-5, 11-4, 11-6).

Hina’s poise: The Japanese star had a slow, but effective showing in Preliminary Round 3.
Spanish bonanza for Alvaro

Men’s singles: Preliminary Round 3

Comebacks are always special, but for Spain’s Alvaro Robles this one will be extra special as it took him to the main event of the 2019 Shinhan Korea Open, after going all the way versus Slovakian Lubomir Pistej (8-11, 11-13, 11-7, 11-9, 9-11, 12-10, 11-4).

No good evenings for Korea

Men’s singles: Preliminary Round 3

There was a huge turn of fortunes for the home crowd as fan favorites Seo Hyundeok and An Jaehyun both exited the 2019 Shinhan Korea Open at their third hurdles.

Slovakian Wang Yang was imperious in his shots against Seo who had no response in a 4:0 win (11-5, 11-5, 11-9, 11-8). Despite a good start, his national teammate An could do no better, losing out to Portuguese Marcos Freitas 4:1.

Wang Yang breaking Korean hearts. (Photo by: Remy Gros)
One step too A-ssar

Men’s singles: Preliminary Round 3

In a battle of wits and two experienced veterans, China’s Xue Fei turned out to be a step too far for the Egyptian Omar Assar. Xue had to dig deep for possibly one of the matches of the day, coming out 4:2 on top (11-4, 11-2, 10-12, 11-8, 14-16, 11-7).

On the other table, Wang Chuqin also kept the Chinese flag flying high. Chen Chien-An of Chinese Taipei did not last long in a quick 4:0 defeat (11-5, 11-8, 11-8, 11-9).

One more stretch: Xue Fei gets the better of Omar Assar.
More to come: Assar and Yoshimura in action

Men’s singles: Preliminary Round 3

Having recorded a splendid win over China’s Sun Wen, Maharu Yoshimura will want to be the one to keep Japan’s hopes alive as he takes on a domestic opponent in Yuki Hirano.

Meanwhile, Egypt’s Olympian Omar Assar will be facing off against the highly impressive Chinese Xue Fei, who recorded a 4:0 win over Lubomir Jancarik in the last round.

More to come: Manika and Hina face Chinese wall(s)

Women’s singles: Preliminary Round 3

It is a case of the common enemy for Japan’s Hina Hayata and Indian Manika Batra, as they both face Chinese opponents in Chen Ke and Liu Xi respectively.

With contrasting victories in the previous rounds for Hayata (4:3) and Batra (4:0), it will be intriguing to see the style of play they choose to take on their Asian rivals.

More to come: Qualifying continues with some exciting encounters!

Think you can just rest during the break? Think again!
Re-live the intense battle between Seo Hyundeok and Kirill Gerassimenko as you catch your breath after an invigorating first half of Qualifying day 2:

How to keep the hosts happy

Women’s singles: Preliminary Round 2

Despite some early exits for the Koreans, Shin Yubin and her compatriot Yang Haeun have turned the tide just before the break in today’s qualification.

After a scintillating performance by 15-year-old Shin saw her claim a 4:2 win over Sarah de Nutte (LUX), Yang beat Slovakian Tatiana Kukulkova 4:0 and followed Shin’s lead to make sure the host nation’s fans keep cheering on.

Shin-ing! Young Shin Yubin shows Korean women the way in qualifying.
Two Indians too much for Dasom

Women’s singles: Preliminary Round 2

Two is certainly not a lucky number for Korean Lee Dasom, as she quickly found out against her second Indian opponent in qualifying.

Double Gold medalist at the Commonwealth Games 2018, Manika Batra handed Lee a swift 4:0 defeat(11-4, 11-8, 11-6, 11-6), after the host nation’s favorite had delivered the same result against Indian Madhurika Patkar in the last round.

The Indian superstar Manika Batra took no prisoners against Korean Lee Dasom.
Joy for Ojio

Women’s singles: Preliminary Round 2

Having the feeling of an upset from the start, the Japanese prodigy Ojio Haruna handed a solid defeat to the World #3 Adriana Diaz from Peurto Rico (9-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-5, 11-4) in the second round of qualifying.

After dropping the first set, the 13-year-old Ojio came back with a seriously offensive response, winning the match in five games the same way she did yesterday against Kim Yeonryeong.

The wunderkid Ojio Haruna: she’s only 13!
Flore wins European battle

Men’s singles: Preliminary Round 2

Frenchman Tristan Flore had to give it his all in his 4:2 win against Croatia’s Tomislav Pucar. Here is his reaction post-victory:

“I’m feeling quite happy now. I know Pucar very well. I played him two years ago at the World Championships: I won that match but was quite lucky. Today was a little bit the opposite: he has a better ranking than me, he’s in good shape. I’m back from injury, but getting better and better, so it was a very different scenario. I was strong in my service and receive game. I think he didn’t like how I serve and maybe with my backhand receive, he also wasn’t sure how to serve. Overall, I think I played a good match today.”

An on the upswing

Men’s singles: Preliminary Round 2

An Jaehyun, one of the Korean up-and-comers making their presence felt on this World Tour stop, continued his success against Denmark’s Anders Lind, producing a solid 4:0 win (12-10, 11-4, 11-4, 11-5), just as he did yesterday against Elmurod Kholikov of Uzebkistan. An is having a nice time in Busan so far: he and new partner Cho Daesong have advanced in men’s doubles as well.

An Jaehyun is two for two in men’s singles so far in Busan.
Omar Assar: sleeper contender

Men’s singles: Preliminary Round 2

More proof that you can never quite count Omar Assar out: the Egyptian veteran eliminated Korean up-and-comer Cho Daesong, recovering from a two-game deficit and taking it down to the wire with the 16-year-old in the 4-3 victory (7-11, 10-12, 11-6, 11-1, 6-11, 11-8, 11-6). Assar, a 2012 Olympian, has a history of surprising high profile players: last year at the World Team Championships, he upset no less a personage than Germany’s Timo Boll.

Omar Assar at work.
Japan takes two

Men’s singles: Preliminary Round 2

Takuya Jin and Kenta Matsudaira are safely through to the next rounds after defeating Marcelo Aguirre of Paraguay and Korea’s Kim Minseok, respectively. Aguirre, a 2012 Olympian, put up a hearty fight, mounting a late offensive after dropping the first three games, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the 26-year-old Japanese, who won 12-10, 11-6, 11-8, 9-11, 7-11, 11-4. Matsudaira made quicker work of Kim, shutting him down in four increasingly strong games, 11-5, 11-7, 11-4, 11-3.

A win for Takuya Jin is an occasion for celebration.
Sweet revenge for Yoshi over Sun

Men’s singles: Preliminary Round 2

After losing at his home turf to the Chinese surprise package Sun Wen, Japan’s Maharu Yoshimura exacted revenge with a 4:3 win today. In his own words,

“I lost to Sun Wen at the Japan Open regrettably, so today I was a bit nervous, but this time I showed more mental strength and fight. Last time I was unable to react in time on my backhand, but this time I was much quicker between my forehand and backhand strokes. My next match is against Japanese teammate, Yuki Hirano. I will approach that match with a new state of mind and fight consciously to win each contest in front of me.”

Is this a sign of Wen coming back to reality?

Ho, that was a close one

Men’s singles: Preliminary Round 2

Ho Kwan Kit, the 22-year-old wunderkind from Hong Kong who announced himself to the world by winning the Philippine Open an an unranked 17-year-old in 2014, has advanced to the round of 32 twice already this year in ITTF World Tour play, namely at the Hong Kong and Hungarian Opens. The left-hander has guaranteed himself at least that by holding off Romania’s Hunor Szocs 4-2 (11-8, 14-16, 11-5, 11-5, 13-11, 11-9) in the tightest match of the day so far.

Sigh of relief for Ho Kwan Kit.
With age, wisdom — and victory, too

Men’s singles: Preliminary Round 2

At 38, Chinese Taipei’s Chuang Chih-Yuan has seen his fair share of competition, and the experience might have helped the 2002 ITTF World Tour Grand Final winner overcome India’s 25-year-old sensation Harmeet Desai 4-1. Chuang jumped out to the lead early, taking the first game 11-5 and though Desai momentarily brought things even by taking the second game 11-9, there was no stopping Chuang, who stayed steady to win the next three in quick succession, scoring 11-6, 11-9, 11-9.

Chuang Chih-Yuan is on a roll.
China coming alive

Men’s singles: Preliminary Round 2

Deja vu for Xue Fei: the 20-year-old penhold player came up against the Czech Republic’s Lubomir Jancarik at the Hungarian Open last year and eked out a 4-2 win. This time the margin was 4-0, as the Chinese contender dominated 11-4, 11-7, 11-1, 13-11.

Meanwhile, Xue’s compatriot Xu Chenhao notched his own 4-0 victory against Japan’s Masataka Morizono (11-5, 12-10, 11-8, 11-9).

Deja Xue: Xue Fei was the victor against Lubomir Jancarik.
Persson prevails

Men’s singles: Preliminary Round 2

Thirty-two-year-old Jon Persson from Sweden is through to the next round after taking down 18-year-old Nam Seongbeen 4-1 in a clash of the generations. Persson was able to limit Nam’s defense, holding the Korean up-and-comer to a minimal response in the later games (11-6, 11-2, 15-13, 11-2, 11-1).

Swedish hopes are high in Korea: in addition to Persson, 2018 European bronze medalist Kristian Karlsson will take on Xu Yingbin a little bit later. (Update: Karlsson beat Xu in a tightly contested 4-3 contest, giving Sweden more to cheer about.)

Jon Persson advances in Korea.
Indian duos get it done

Mixed Doubles: Preliminary Round 

Good news for India: Both Sharath Kamal Achanta and Manika Batra and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Archana Girish Kamath are through to the next round after 3-0 wins against their opponents this morning.

Singapore’s Pang Yew En Koen and Goi Rui Xuan kept it close with Achanta and Batra in every game, but ultimately couldn’t keep up with the Indian pair, who pulled away 13-11, 11-9, 12-0. Gnanasekaran and Kamath had a smoother ride against Puerto Rico’s Daniel Gonzalez and Melanie Diaz, winning 11-7, 11-5, 11-9.

Sharath Kamal Achanta and Manika Batra are among the early winners in mixed doubles.
Hard-fought victory for Afanador and Diaz

Mixed Doubles: Preliminary Round 

Both teams took it to the limit, but Puerto Rico’s Brian Afanador and Adriana Diaz prevailed 3-2 over France’s Alexandre Robinot and Audrey Zarif. The battle was tight, with the French winning the first game 11-5 and staying alive in the fourth 11-7, but Afanador and Diaz never gave up. They took the deciding game 11-4 to move on.

The news wasn’t as favorable for Germany’s Qiu Dang and Nina Mittelham, who were ejected by Slovakia’s Wang Yang and Tatiana Kukulkova in another 3-2 nailbiter. After dropping the first two sets 6-11, 10-12, the Germans mounted a successful offensive and won the next two to bring the overall score to 2-2. It wasn’t quite enough: Yang and Kukulkova took the deciding game 11-8.

How Brian Afanador and Adriana Diaz are probably feeling right about now.
Good morning Korea

Mixed Doubles: Preliminary Round 

It’s always nice to begin the day on a winning note, and Korea’s Lim Jonghoon and Yoo Eunchong have done just that, dispatching Uzbekistan’s Elmurod Kholikov and Kamila Kalikova 3-0 (11-4, 11-4, 11-7).

Other early winners as mixed doubles play gets underway include Singapore’s Chu Zhe Yu Clarence and Zeng Jian as well as Japan’s Jun Miztuani and Mima Ito.

Mima Ito in action.
Day 2 of qualification begins in Busan

The second day of qualification in Korea has begun! Here’s a look at today’s schedule:


Host nation pair qualifies

Men’s Doubles: Preliminary Round 

The host nation celebrates a winning conclusion to the opening day of qualification in Busan after An Jaehyun and Cho Daeseong successfully negotiated their men’s doubles preliminary round match against Slovak opponents Lubomir Pistej and Wang Yang (11-6, 11-2, 11-7).

Puerto Rico’s Brian Afanador and Daniel Gonzalez needed just three games to see off Uzbekistan’s Zokhid Kenjaev and Elmurod Kholikov (13-11, 11-2, 11-7) while there was a fine comeback display from Singapore’s Josh Chua Shao Han and Pang Yew En Koen, who recovered from two games down to beat India’s Amalraj Anthony and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran (8-11, 5-11, 11-9, 11-5, 12-10).

Positives and negatives for Indian partnerships

Women’s Doubles: Preliminary Round 

Sutirtha Mukherjee and Madhurika Patkar are through to the women’s doubles main event following a fine 3-1 win against the Korean duo of Li Eunchae and Yoo Eunchong in preliminary round action (11-3, 7-11, 11-7, 11-9).

However, the news wasn’t so pleasant for the other pair from India as Manika Batra and Archana Girish Kamath fell to Hong Kong’s Mak Tze Wing and Zhu Chengzhu (11-7, 7-11, 13-11, 15-13).

Sun Wen strikes again

Men’s Singles: Preliminary Round One

One of the standout names last time out at the 2019 Japan Open in Sapporo, China’s Sun Wen has made the perfect start to his qualification campaign in Busan with an outstanding victory over Sweden’s Anton Källberg (11-8, 6-11, 11-5, 12-10, 11-7).

Elsewhere, there was a close shave for Andrej Gacina as the Croatian player was forced right down to the wire against Korea Republic’s Jang Seongil (11-8, 9-11, 9-11, 11-3, 8-11, 11-3, 11-9).

Sun Wen too strong for Sweden counterpart (Photo: courtesy of Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour Platinum Lion Japan Open)
Ng Pak Nam out at first hurdle

Men’s Singles: Preliminary Round One

There’s no room for Ng Pak Nam in the second round of qualification action after the player from Hong Kong suffered a 4-2 defeat at the hands of Japan’s Kakeru Sone (11-5, 13-11, 11-3, 7-11, 7-11, 13-11)

Three further victories followed for Japan: Yukiya Uda accounted for the host nation’s Gil Minseok across five games (11-4, 10-12, 11-0, 11-7, 11-4) while Shunsuke Togami and Taimu Arinobu came through their respective encounters with Singapore’s Josh Chua Shao Han (11-5, 11-4, 11-6, 11-7) and Korea’s Jang Hanjae (14-12, 12-10, 7-11, 11-2, 11-7).

Domestic rivalries set the stage

Men’s Singles: Preliminary Round One

In a couple of continental domestic games, Europeans Jordy Piccolin (ITA) and Anders Lind (DEN) went head to head in close encounter. At the same time, the Asian pair of Park Gyuhyeon (KOR) took on Zheng Peifeng (CHN).

The Chinese Zheng exhibited his form of Czech Republic last year, being too hot for Park to handle (11-7, 11-4, 11-9, 4-11, 11-5). As for the Euro battle, Lind wasted no time in bringing his best to the table, defeating Piccolin four games to one (11-7, 11-9, 6-11, 11-4, 11-5).

Danish Anders Lind’s focus got him through qualifying without trouble. (Photo by: ITTF World)
Curious case of the Chinese

Men’s Singles: Preliminary Round One

There were polar opposites in terms of results for the Chinese in qualifying with an imperious Xu Yingbin and a meek Ma Te performance.

Swedish Truls Moregard had no response to Xu, losing four straight games (8-11, 9-11, 7-11, 3-11). Meanwhile Korean Kim Minseok took care of Ma with an effortless 4-0 win (11-9, 11-8, 11-8, 11-9).

The “Unstoppable Rising Star” Xu Yingbin had another shining performance. (Photo by: ITTF World)
No easy games in Qualification

Men’s Singles: Preliminary Round One

If there was ever any doubt for lack of quality in qualification, today’s games cleared that out. Gold medalist in 2018 Commonwealth Games, Indian Harmeet Desai had his work cutout against Sun Chia-Hung (TPE), with a 4-2 win (13-11, 11-6, 16-18, 7-11, 12-10, 11-4).

The younger athletes had to step up their game too, with Serbia Open semifinalist Brian Afanador (PUR) needing seven games to see off Chin Mao-Cheng (12-10, 9-11, 11-7, 12-14, 11-8, 8-11, 11-7) and Boys’ World #5 Xiang Peng (CHN) proving his worth versus Bence Majoros (HUN) with a 4-1 win.

Indian Harmeet Desai needed to stretch wide for his victory in qualification. (Photo by: ITTF World)
Korean dreams

Men’s Singles: Preliminary Round One

It was the best of 30 minutes for the hosts as all three Koreans in the Men’s Singles snatched comprehensive wins in Busan. Runners-up in Thailand Open of this year’s ITTF World Tour, Seo Hyundeok took no time in racing to a victory over Saudi Arabia’s Ali Alkhadrawi (11-6, 11-7, 11-7, 11-5).

His compatriots, Kim Donghyun and Park Ganghyeon wrapped up their games against Hong Kong’s Kwan Man Ho and Nigerian Oluyomi Salako respectively with equal ease. (4-1; 4-0).

Seo (KOR) took no mercy in qualification against Alkhadrawi (KSA).Photo by Rémy Gros (ITTF) 
Memories of Zagreb

Women’s Singles: Preliminary Round One

Winner on the ITTF World Tour in 2013 in Zagreb; the host nation’s Lee Dasom rekindled memories of six years ago.

In the opening preliminary round of the women’s singles event she beat India’s Madhurika Patkar (11-8, 11-6, 11-3, 11-3).

Lee Dasom, memories of Zagreb (Photo: Nakerees Terakashimi)
Qian Tianyi underlines quality

Women’s Singles: Preliminary Round One

Crowned world junior champion last year in Bendigo when beating Shi Xunyao in the final; China’s Qian Tianyi once again underlined her quality.

In the opening preliminary round of the women’s singles event, she beat Korea Republic’s Lee Yeonhui (11-8, 11-6, 11-8, 11-7).

World Tour winners impose authority

Women’s Singles: Preliminary Round One

Germany’s Shan Xiaona and India’s Sakura Mori, both winners on the ITTF World Tour (Shan Xiaona in 2014 in Magdeburg, Sakura Mori in 2017 in New Delhi) made impressive starts in the women’s singles event.

In the preliminary round, both beat host nation opposition. Shan Xiaona accounted for Kim Yujin (11-2, 11-4, 11-5, 11-6); Sakura Mori ended the hopes of Kim Nayeong (11-3, 11-2, 5-11, 11-5, 11-5).

Sakura Mori overcame Kim Nayeong to make the ideal start to her campaign (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Chinese teenagers make presence felt

Women’s Singles: Preliminary Round One

Crowned world junior champion in 2016 in Cape Town, the runner up last year in Bendigo, China’s 17 year old Shi Xunyao made an impressive start to her campaign. In the first preliminary round of the women’s singles event she accounted for Korea Republic’s Lee Eunhye (15-13, 8-11, 15-13, 11-5, 11-6).

Similarly there was success for 19 year old colleague, Liu Weishan; she beat Norway’s Ma Wenting (11-2, 11-4, 11-8, 11-9).

Shin Yubin sets standard for hosts

Women’s Singles: Preliminary Round One

Quarter-finalist earlier this year on the Seamaster 2019 ITTF Challenge Series in Croatia, Shin Yubin, who will celebrate her 15th birthday this coming Friday, very much set the standard for the Korea Republic.

In the opening series of matches in the preliminary round of the women’s singles event, she was one of two players from the host nation to enjoy success. She accounted for Japan’s Kaho Akae in six games (9-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-9). The one further player to emerge successful was Lee Zion; she overcame Chinese Taipei’s Chen Ting-Ting (11-6, 7-11, 11-9, 11-3, 11-8).

Shin Yubin beat Kaho Akae in her opening encounter (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Qualification underway

The players have taken to the tables and it’s time to begin – here’s a look at the day’s schedule:

World Tour 2019 Seamaster SHINHAN Korea Open Busan

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Match Highlights

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Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour SHINHAN Korea Open - Day 2