09 Jul 2019

A place in the main draw the immediate goal, then every step a bonus; such is the quality of the entry for the Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour Platinum Australian Open which commences in Geelong with a two day qualification tournament on Tuesday 9th July.

The men's singles and women's singles event start the action.

Simon Gauzy out, Jeoung Youngsik survives

Men’s Singles: Preliminary Round Two

Frenchman Simon Gauzy has been eliminated from qualification action in Geelong after failing to convert a three games to two lead in his meeting with China’s Zhou Kai (14-12, 4-11, 6-11, 11-9, 12-14, 11-9, 11-9).

The star of the show last week in Busan, Korea Republic’s Jeoung Youngsik came mightily close to an early exit in Geelong with the 27-year-old requiring the full seven-game distance to see off fellow compatriot Kim Minhyeok (8-11, 12-10, 11-9, 9-11, 9-11, 13-11, 11-9).

Xue Fei fights back

Men’s Singles: Preliminary Round Two

Down by a 1-2 games deficit, China’s Xue Fei recovers from a nervous position to beat Slovak opponent Lubomir Pistej 4-2 in an exciting preliminary round two encounter (7-11, 11-5, 8-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-8).

Another Chinese player who needed six games to progress was Sun Wen: still relatively new to the ITTF World Tour but Sun continues to impress with Japan’s Jin Ueda feeling the full brunt of his force in Geelong (11-8, 11-5, 10-12, 11-8, 8-11, 11-5).

Xue Fei keeps his cool (Photo: APAC / Sport Media)
Cho Seungmin hails table tennis legend

Victorious over 2017 Australia Open champion Vladimir Samsonov, Korea’s Cho Seungmin had nothing but praise for his legendary opponent following the match:

“I was honored and nervous to play such a legendary European player. Nobody expected me to win so I thought I would treat this as a learning opportunity. I have always admired my opponent so I was very nervous to play against someone I look up to. I was really nervous in the first set but I lost by 9-11 so I felt the match was doable. I was playing really well and there were some unforced errors from Samsonov, which was lucky for me. It is not easy to qualify for a platinum level event so I want to prepare well for my next match and qualify. My goal is to beat at least one or two seeded players.” Cho Seungmin

2017 champion knocked out!

Men’s Singles: Preliminary Round Two

Vladimir Samsonov is out of the men’s singles contest in Geelong with the 2017 Australia Open champion falling at the second preliminary round. Starting the match the stronger of the two players but the Belarusian failed to capitalise on the situation, losing out in the following four games to exit to Korea Republic’s Cho Seungmin (9-11, 11-4, 11-8, 11-7, 11-5).

No repeat of 2017 for Vladimir Samsonov (Photo: APAC / Sport Media)
Host nation takes a hit

Men’s Singles: Preliminary Round Two

Australia’s David Powell and Kane Townsend have been eliminated from the men’s singles race in preliminary round two following defeats at the hands of Sweden’s Kristian Karlsson (11-2, 11-2, 11-3, 11-5) and the Slovak Republic’s Wang Yang (11-8, 11-8, 11-8, 11-9).

Elsewhere, one of the big favourites in qualification action Wong Chun Ting is also through to the final round of qualifying with a convincing display against Tristan Flore (11-7, 11-7, 11-6, 10-12, 11-8).

No hiccups for Jeon

Women’s Singles: Preliminary Round One

Korean fan favorite Jeon Jihee had a swift first round victory over her compatriot Yoo Eunchong, claiming a 11-5, 13-11, 11-7, 11-8 win.

Meanwhile, Japan’s Hina Hayata could not live up to her expectations as she suffered a first round defeat at the hands of China’s Li Jiayi. The match was finely poised in the fifth game where it looked like Hina might make a comeback after winning 11-9, but Li had no intention of letting the match slip through her fingers (11-4, 11-5, 7-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-7).

Li Jiayi (CHN) had a great performance on her way to eliminating Hina Hayata (JPN).
Contrasting afternoons for the Japanese

Women’s Singles: Preliminary Round One

The story of Jekyll and Hyde was played out over two matches for the Japanese pair of Kihara Miyuu and Ojio Haruna, given their 4 and 7 game matches in Geelong.

Kihara had no trouble clearing the table with India’s Ayhika Mukherjee in no more than 21 minutes (11-9, 11-8, 11-5, 11-1). On the other hand, highly rated Ojio dropped the final three games to lose 4:3 against Singapore’s Zeng Jian in the first major upset of women’s singles qualifying (2-11, 1-11, 11-4, 7-11, 11-8, 11-3, 11-5).

The focus that causes upsets: Zeng Jian came back from 2 games down to eliminate Ojio Haruna.
No entry for Indian pair

Women’s Singles: Preliminary Round One

It was a disappointing afternoon Down Under for Indian table tennis fans, as both Manika Batra and Archana Girish Kamath were eliminated in straight games at the first hurdle of qualifying.

German Nina Mittelham has been on a steady rise and with wide angle domination, took a clear cut victory against Archana Kamath (11-6, 13-11, 11-5, 13-11). Former World #15 Mu Zi rolled back her glory days against Manika, with the Chinese verteran coming out on top with 11-6, 14-12, 11-2, 11-8 win.

Nina Mittelham had a clear path for her in qualifying.
4-0’s all around

Women’s Singles: Preliminary Round One

There were three speedy matches on show in qualifying as Spanish Maria Xiao, China’s Sun Minyang and Zhang Qiang all won in straight sets.

Maria Xiao was probably the only one to face slight resistance, given her adversary was playing on home turf. Australian Melissa Tapper tried her best, but was not enough as he lost 4:0 (11-9, 11-5, 11-8, 12-10). The Chinese were quite synchronized in their victories, taking just around 23 minutes to dismantle their opponents Suthasini Sawettabut (THA) and Sarah de Nutte from Luxemborg.

Maria Xiao did not let her guard down for even a second against Melissa Tapper.
Liu and Miyu roll on

Women’s Singles: Preliminary Round One

Chinese Liu Weishan and Japan’s Miyu Kato were in top gear in their first matches of the 2019 Australian Open, recording swift victories in around 30 minutes.

Up against Singaporean Yu Mengyu, Liu was relentless and took the match 4:0 (11-9, 11-7, 11-3, 11-5). For Miyu, it was the host nation’s Jee Minhyung who could not handle Miyu’s speed of serve in another straight games win (11-9, 11-7, 11-9, 11-4).

Miyu Kato was pumped up to say the least in her first match of the 2019 Australian Open.
European and Asian derbies end the same

Women’s Singles: Preliminary Round One

There were early continental domestic battles involved here in Geelong, as Indian Madhurika Patkar lost out to Hong Kong’s Ng Wing Kam in a one sided match (8-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-8, 12-10).

Europe had it’s own derby with Austrian Yui Hamamoto seeing off Czech Dana Cechova in five games (11-5, 11-5, 11-7, 9-11, 11-1). Despite the best efforts of Dana, Yui had to sweat little in a match that lasted less than 30 minutes. In other news, Portuguese Yu Fu had to withdraw because of injury, sending her Japanese opponent Shiho Matsudaira through to the next round.

Austrian Yui Hamamoto was bullish in her first qualifying match.
Lind and Cho advance

Men’s Singles: Preliminary Round One

Coming off the back of a rather impressive Korea Open, Danish Anders Lind had to channel his previous best in taking down Huang Chien-Tu of Chinese Taipei in seven games (11-5, 6-11, 9-11, 11-3, 11-7, 9-11, 11-8).

Korean Cho Seungmin had a much smoother qualification, defeating Hong Kong’s Kwan Man Ho in five, taking Cho no longer than 36 minutes (11-4, 11-8, 10-12, 11-5, 11-9).

Anders Lind qualifies after a hectic opening match in Geelong.
Chinese duo impress

Men’s Singles: Preliminary Round One

China’s Xue Fei and Sun Wen both impressed in their opening preliminary round men’s singles matches when facing formidable Japanese opposition.

Xue Fei beat Shunsuke Togami (11-9, 13-11, 7-11, 11-6, 5-11, 6-11, 11-6); Sun Wen accounted for Takuya Jin (3-11, 7-11, 13-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-8).

Don’t be confused

Men’s Singles: Preliminary Round One

The host nation’s Ma Lin experienced defeat in the opening preliminary round of the men’s singles event; he was beaten by Thailand’s Supanut Wisutmaythangkoon (11-4, 11-7, 13-11, 11-6)

No, Ma Lin, the Beijing 2008 Olympic champion, has not suddenly picked up his racket and emigrated to Australia; the player in question is a para athlete who alongside Lei Lina and Yang Qian has moved down under. However, like his namesake he has enjoyed major success; he won men’s singles class 9 at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

Ma Lin on duty for China at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games (Photo: An Sungho)
 First round defeats for para pair

Women’s Singles: Preliminary Round One

Recently moved to Australia, highly successful at para tournaments, both Lei Lina and Yang Qian experienced first preliminary round women’s singles defeat. Lei Lina was beaten by Korea Republic’s Shin Yubin (11-2, 11-6, 11-2, 11-2); Yang Qian suffered at the hands of Audrey Zarif from France (11-5, 11-7, 7-11, 11-8, 11-4).

Born in Sichuan, most notably at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, Lei Lina won class 9 gold; in London four years later she successfully defended her title. Meanwhile, Yang Qian, a class 10 athlete, succeeded at the Asian Games in both 2010 and 2014.


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World Tour 2019 Seamaster Australian Open Geelong

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Day 4 - Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour Australian Open