05 Jul 2019

Follow the action from day one at the Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour SHINHAN Korea Open in Busan as the seeded players enter the draw.

Lee Sangsu stunned!

Men’s Singles: Round One

Seeded seventh in Busan but it’s a shock opening round exit for Korea Republic’s Lee Sangsu with Portugal’s Marcos Freitas holding the edge against the host nation player in a seven-game thriller (8-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-7, 7-11, 11-8, 11-7).

However, there was some positive news for the local spectators as qualifier Cho Seungmin upset ninth seed Koki Niwa (8-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-9, 11-6).

Slow start but Nigerian star recovers

Men’s Singles: Round One

Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna was forced to comeback from a game down but successfully overcame the task at hand, beating Germany’s Benedikt Duda to reach round two of the men’s singles event (2-11, 11-8, 13-11, 11-9, 11-3).

There was somewhat of a close shave for Chinese no.5 seed Liang Jingkun, who was pushed hard by Japanese qualifier Kazuhiro Yoshimura (7-11, 11-9, 11-7, 12-10, 6-11, 13-11).

Tomokazu Harimoto avoids early drama

Men’s Singles: Round One

Defeated at the opening hurdle last time out in Sapporo – fast forward a couple of weeks and Tomokazu Harimoto has managed to avoid the same fate in Busan, posting a 4-0 win at Jon Persson’s expense (11-7, 11-6, 4-11, 11-5, 11-7).

Hong Kong’s Wong Chun Ting needed five games to seal his spot in round two, with Slovak opponent Wang Yang falling short (13-11, 11-7, 6-11, 11-7, 11-4).

No opening round drama for Tomokazu Harimoto in Busan (Photo by: An Sungho)
Not to be for Lin Yun-Ju

Men’s Singles: Round One

One of the breakout stars in recent weeks, especially for his fine run at the 2019 Japan Open, but Lin Yun-Ju’s campaign in Busan has been halted at the first attempt after the no.14 seed from Chinese Taipei fell to China’s Wang Chuqin 4-0 (11-6, 11-8, 11-9, 11-9).

New World no.1 Xu Xin came through his opening round fixture with little to worry about, knocking Japan’s Yuki Hirano out of the running (11-6, 11-1, 11-2, 11-4).

Bright moments but Liu Weishan outclassed

Women’s Singles: Round One

Showing great character throughout but Liu Weishan proved unable to stage a major upset in round one of the women’s singles draw as she fell 4-0 at the hands of no.5 seed Zhu Yuling (11-9, 11-4, 13-11, 12-10).

On table 4, Hitomi Sato prevailed over Honoka Hashimoto in straight games in an all-Japanese affair (11-8, 11-9, 12-10, 11-9).

Brave performance from Liu Weishan (Photo by: An Sungho)
Doo Hoi Kem through, Lee Ho Ching out

Women’s Singles: Round One

For Hong Kong it’s a case of mixed emotions with one player moving through and another suffering elimination.

No.11 seed Doo Hoi Kem proved too strong in her round one meeting with Germany’s Nina Mittelham (11-8, 11-8, 11-7, 11-9), however, it was the opposite outcome for Lee Ho Ching, who fell to no.9 seed Miu Hirano by a 4-0 margin (11-5, 11-7, 11-5, 11-3).

Host nation star falls

Women’s Singles: Round One

Regarded as one of the host nation’s best chances to go far in the women’s singles event but Suh Hyowon is out in round one after the defensive specialist lost out to Japan’s Miyu Nagasaki across five games (11-8, 11-7, 7-11, 11-9, 11-6).

Elsewhere, no.7 seed Mima Ito also progresses following a comfortable 4-1 victory over fellow Japanese compatriot Yumeno Soma (11-8, 11-7, 11-5, 9-11, 11-6).

Miyu Nagasaki claims round one scalp (Photo by: An Sungho)
Chinese elite power through

Women’s Singles: Round One

Two major contenders for silverware in Busan, China’s Chen Meng and Wang Manyu have both negotiated their opening round encounters with flying colours.

World no.1 Chen Meng needed just four games to see off Japanese teenager Honami Nakamori (11-5, 11-3, 11-5, 11-8) while Wang Manyu was just as impressive against 2018 Commonwealth Games champion Manika Batra (11-8, 11-4, 11-7, 13-11).

Swedish double delight

Men’s Singles: Round One

The case for two is spreading across Busan as another national pair had encouraging results. Sweden’s Kristian Karlsson and Mattias Falck emerged victorious respectively against Jun Mizutani of Japan and India’s Sharath Kamal Achanta.

Karlsson was playing his third match in Korea which gave him an edge over favourite Mizutani, who was playing his first. Winning the final three games on the bounce, the Swede wrapped up the match in 45 minutes (11-9, 9-11, 3-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-7). By comparison, Falck had to deal with a fighter in Achanta, as the Indian enigma took him to seven games. Channeling his national partner, Falck also won the final three games and claimed a place in the last 16 (10-12, 11-2, 10-12, 7-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-7).

Kristian Karlsson certainly ‘returned’ with aplomb today! (Photo by: An Sungho)
Zhendong prevails, Fei derails

Men’s Singles: Round One

A double thriller was on show as Fan Zhendong and Korean Jang Woojin rallied on over the Chinese duo Xu Chenhao and Xue Fei respectively.

Both Chinese superstars Fan and Xue lost their opening games but only one roared back to snatch victory from jaws of defeat. It just wasn’t to happen for Xue, who could not handle his World Junior Champions rival’s serve in what was Woojin’s first game of the tournament (11-8, 11-8, 11-8, 6-11, 9-11, 11-8). The World #3 Zhendong was pushed to the limit by Chenhao’s offensive set up, meaning both had the same amount of service points (33). Eventually, Fan winded the spirited Xu down in a blazing 5 minute last game to clinch the win (5-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-9, 10-12, 11-9, 11-4).

Domestic rivalries sandwich Hina-Liu showdown

Women’s Singles: Round One

It is hard not to consider table tennis an Asian sport when three matches simultaneously qualify as domestic games. Amongst the two all-Japanese and one all-Chinese rivalries, a mammoth Japan-China battle was sandwiched when Hina Hayata took on Liu Shiwen.

Being the only woman to have beaten Liu this year, Hina kept everyone on pins and needles as the game stretched into the sixth games. But for all that, experience prevailed as Liu rode out the Japanese challenger with efficient service shots in the ultimate two sets of less than eight minutes each (11-5, 14-16, 11-7, 8-11, 11-6, 11-5).

Meanwhile, Kasumi Ishikawa and Saki Shibata recorded wins over their Japanese colleagues Miyuu Kihara and Sakura Mori (4:1 ; 4:1). Sun Yingsha on table no.3 had to dig deep for an in-house 4:3 win over Chinese Qian Tiyani.

Liu Shiwen rose to the challenge of Hina Hayata with class.
Upset central for Japan

Women’s singles: Round of 32

There was a double blow in the women’s singles for Japan as both Haruna Ojio and Miyu Kato could not progress against Cheng I-Ching (TPE) and Korean Jeon Jihee.

The much followed 14-year old Ojio was swept away in a clinical display by Cheng, leaving no room for error in her straight games 4:0 win (11-2, 11-9, 11-6, 11-7). Playing her first match of the 2019 Shinhan Korea Open, many expected Jeon Jihee to have a tough time versus Kato, who won the last time these two clashed in 2017 in Qatar. However, the home advantage seemed to have clicked for Jihee, coming out on top 4:1 (11-9, 11-9, 11-13, 12-10, 11-6).

That stadium erupted with this Jeon Jihee performance.  
Ding and then some

Women’s Singles: Round One

Bogeys exist in all sports, of all types. Sometimes they are location based and others are simply athletes you cannot best repeatedly. Despite just the one loss for Ding Ning against fellow Chinese He Zhuojia at the 2018 Grand Finals, many were starting to use the B-word for He. Ding made sure to clear the air today.

Taking her head on after dropping the first game 9-11, Ding cleaned the table with her impressive forehand shots and took the match 4:1 (9-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-7, 11-8).

Xu and Fan, in a rout

Men’s Doubles: Round One

As expected, an efficient first day at the office for Xu Xin and Fan Zhendong, who took just three games and less than 20 minutes to beat France’s Tristan Flore and Can Akkuzu (11-5, 11-3, 11-3). The stats tell the story in this rather lopsided contest: the Chinese won 17 points on their own serve and 16 points on their opponents serve, as compared to 7 and 4 by the French.

Xu Xin and Fan Zhendong: quarterfinals on deck!
A Japanese-Korean thrill ride

Men’s Doubles: Round One

And boy was it close! Korea’s An Jaehyun and Cho Daeseong seesawed with Tomokazu Harimoto and Koki Niwa, dropping the first two 11-8, 12-10 before regrouping and pulling the score even with two steely nerved games of their own (11-9, 11-8). But it was Japanese wunderkind Harimoto and his first-time World Tour partner Niwa finally broke through the Koreans’ concentration to prevail 3-2 on the strength of an 11-5 final game.

3-0s all around!

Men’s Doubles: Round One

One for Sweden, where Anton Källberg and Kristian Karlsson made quick work of Singapore’s Josh Chua Shao Han and Pang Yew En Koen, sending the Singaporeans off 11-9, 11-2, 11-7.

One for Germany, where Benedikt Duda and Qiu Dang, who made it to the final at the Japan Open and finished runner-up to Xu Xin and Fan Zhendong, took care of no. 7 seeds Lam Siu Hang and Ng Pak Nam in consistent fashion 11-7, 11-8, 11-7.

And one for Korea’s Jeoung Youngsik and Lee Sangsu who emerged triumphant against Singapore’s Chew Zhe Yu Clarence and Poh Shao Feng Ethan 11-6, 11-6, 11-5. It seems to be catching here in the Sajik Indoor Gymnasium.

That 3-0 feeling for Germans Benedikt Duda, pictured here, and Qiu Dang.
A Japanese double!

Women’s Doubles: Round One

Japan has to be having a good time in Korea so far: not only did Miu Hirano and Saki Shibata triumph over new German duo Nina Mittelham and Shan Xiaona 3-1 (13-11, 6-11, 15-13, 11-9), Honami Nakamori and Satsuki Odo scored the easiest W of the tournament with the pre-match withdrawal of Chinese Taipei’s Chen Szu-Yu and Cheng Hsien Tzu.

Miu Hirano and the art of a Japanese victory.
Reunited for the win

Women’s Doubles: Round One

Speaking of new partnerships, things are going smoothly so far for Korea’s Choi Hyojoo and Yang Haeun, who were effective in limiting the French offensive in their 3-1 win against France’s Laura Gasnier and Audrey Zarif (11-7, 2-11, 11-7, 11-3). With Jeon Jihee, playing here in Busan with Lee Zion, Yang has reached 16 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals, and has won seven of them. Like Jeon, Choi is a left-hander known faor her topspin.

For their part, Jeon and Lee scored their own 3-1 win this morning, dispatching Hong Kong’s Mak Tze Wing and Zhu Chengzhu 11-2, 6-11, 11-7, 12-10.

Yang Haeun is back in action with a new partner.
China’s dynamic duos back in action

Women’s Doubles: Round One

Today marks the first time Chen Meng and Wang Manyu have paired up on the World Tour since 2017, and the Chinese pair’s superb result in their first match against Norway’s Ma Wenting and Thailand’s Suthasini Sawettabut makes you wonder why they haven’t been doing this all along.

The contest resulted in an easy 3-0 (11-6, 11-1, 12-10) victory for two of the top Chinese players, who have grown accustomed to seeing each other across the table in singles play so far this year.

Elsewhere, Ding Ning and Liu Shiwen were unstoppable in their first round against Puerto Rican sisters Melanie and Adriana Diaz, to advance to the quarterfinal on the back of a 3-0 win (11-3, 13-11, 11-4).

Together again: Wang Manyu and Chen Meng.
Hungry hungry Hungarians

Mixed Doubles: Round One

After sharing World Championships gold in 2017 and silvers this year and in 2015, Maharu Yoshimura and Kasmi Ishikawa of Japan paired up again to take on Hungary’s Adam Szudi and Szandra Pergel, but the match ended with an earlier-than-hoped-for exit for the Japanese. There was jubilation from Hungarian Open finalists Szudi and Pergel, who took revenge for Yoshimura and Ishikawa knocking them out in the round of 16 at the World Championships in Budapest this spring.

“We are very happy that we could beat them,” Pergel said. “We already played against them in the World Championships, which was such a close match, so we knew that we had a chance and that by fighting hard and with a bit of luck, we could win.”

“It was a great match from us,” Szudi added. “They couldn’t really get into rhythm. Our game plan was to break their rhythm. We played well and were able to win in the end. Many people came to support us, so we would like to continue this momentum towards the upcoming tournaments.”

Szudi and Pergel dropped the first game but solidified their efforts during the next three to advance to the final eight 3-1 (6-11, 13-11, 11-7, 11-9).

Adam Szudi and Szandra Pergel are in the upset business.
Comebacks from Slovakia and Hong Kong

Mixed Doubles: Round One

Down 2-0 early on against India’s Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Archana Girish Kamath, Slovakian veteran Lubomir Pistej and Barbora Balazova rallied for a win with three sharp final game (3-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-8). It was a tough morning for India in mixed doubles, as Hong Kong’s Wong Chun Ting and Doo Hoi Kem outlasted Sharath Kamal Achanta and Manika Batra in another 3-2 battle (5-11, 11-9, 11-9, 7-11, 11-2).

Hard-fought win for Barbora Balazova and Lubomir Pistej.
Japan ejects the World Tour leaders!

Mixed Doubles: Round One

Japan has been changing up its duos recently, searching for the ultimate combination of players for next year’s Olympics in Tokyo. Could the archipelago have found what it’s looking for in Jun Mizutani and Mima Ito? Though they only played their first match together this morning, the two seem ideally suited — Mizutani a skillful lefty, Ito a lightning-quick righty, the differing trajectories they put on the ball are likely to confuse opponents.

The proof lies in how well they handled current ITTF World Tour leaders Lin Yun-Ju and Cheng I-Ching, jumping out to win the first two games and keeping cool under fire with the score tied at 10 in the fourth. Down two games, Lin and Cheng rallied masterfully to take the third, but this match belonged to the Japanese (11-9, 11-8, 4-11, 12-10).

Korea vs. Korea

Mixed Doubles: Round One

Lim and Yoo or Lee and Jeon? Even they didn’t have an inkling who would advance until the very end. The two Korean duos ratcheted up the intensity during early morning play, with Lim Jonghoon and Yoo Eunchong edging compatriots Lee Sangsu and Jeon Jihee at the end of a roller coaster of a match.

Lim and Yoo dropped the first game and fought back, dropped another and fought back, and finally found their momentum to hold off Lee and Jeon 3-2 (5-11, 11-6, 5-11, 13-11, 11-8). Whew!

Close shave for Lim Jonghoo and Yoo Eunchong.
Bonjour France!

Mixed Doubles: Round One

Fresh from their bronze medal performance at the European Games in Minsk, where they beat Slovakians Lubomir Pistej and Barbora Balazova in the medal round, Tristan Flore and Laura Gasnier debarked in Korea to find that they would face Slovakia again here, this time in the form of Wang Yang and Tatiana Kukulkova. Different pair, same result: a victory for la France, 3-1 (11-6, 13-15, 11-6, 11-7).

High-fives for Laura Gasnier and Tristan Flore.
Xu and Liu off to the races

Mixed Doubles: Round One

Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen wasted no time as the mixed doubles round of 16 began Thursday morning in Busan: Facing Puerto Ricans Brian Afanador and Adriana Diaz, the well-calibrated Chinese pair shot out to an 11-1 lead in the first game and never looked back. Margin of victory: 3-0 (11-1, 11-7, 11-5). Onward.

Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen were dominant in their opening match in Busan.
Last year at the Korean Open…

As main draw action gets underway in Busan, it’s well worth harking back to this time about a year ago when Jang Woojin became the first player in ITTF history ever to complete the trifecta of table tennis on the World Tour, winning the singles, doubles and mixed doubles titles at the Korea Open in Daejeon.

Korea fans are hoping for the same result, and why not? While the triple crown is rare, it’s not impossible. Just ask Xu Xin, who became the second player to do it last month in Japan.

Day One begins

Here we go! It’s time for the opening day of main draw action at the Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour SHINHAN Korea Open. 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