11 Jul 2019

Follow the opening day of the Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour Platinum Australian Open as the seeded players join the action in Geelong.

Dima comes through opening round test

Men’s Singles: Round of 32

Japanese qualifier Yukiya Uda proved unable to stage a round one shock against no.11 seed Dimitrij Ovtcharov with the German player successfully holding off a late comeback attempt (11-2, 11-7, 11-4, 7-11, 9-11, 11-8).

Falling in round one last week in Busan, Korea Republic’s Lee Sangsu, seeded 10th, has fared better in Geelong, prevailing 4-1 over Slovak opponent Wang Yang (11-6, 8-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-9) to reach the second stage of the men’s singles draw.

Not plain sailing for Ma Long

Men’s Singles: Round of 32

Ma Long didn’t enjoy the most straightforward of starts to his 2019 Australia Open outing, dropping two games to Japanese qualifier Mizuki Oikawa before eventually getting the job done across six games (11-6, 11-6, 11-8, 9-11, 7-11, 11-7).

Another contender for men’s singles silverware in Geelong, Lin Gaoyuan was more decisive in his opener against Sun Wen with only four games required to see the second seed through (11-2, 11-5, 11-1, 11-3).

Not a vintage performance but Ma Long prevails nonetheless (Photo: APAC / Sport Media)
Danish star triumphs

Men’s Singles: Round of 32

Jonathan Groth of Denmark has produced a mighty upset in his opening round meeting with Japan’s Jun Mizutani, defeating the no.13 seed by a 4-2 margin (13-11, 11-8, 9-11, 3-11, 17-15, 13-11).

England’s Liam Pitchford, who coached Groth in the qualification rounds, moves through to the second round of play following his six games victory over Cho Daeseong (11-7, 9-11, 16-14, 11-8, 9-11, 11-8) – Sixth seed Liang Jingkun brings qualifier Xu Chenhao’s run to a halt (13-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-8, 11-4).

Tomokazu Harimoto is out!

Men’s Singles: Round of 32

Tomokazu Harimoto’s difficult run of form continues after the fourth seed from Japan was dealt a straight games defeat at the hands of China’s Wang Chuqin (12-10, 11-6, 11-4, 11-6). It’s the second time in the space of a week that Harimoto has lost out to Wang following their quarterfinal meeting at the 2019 Korea Open in Busan which finished 4-2 in the Chinese player’s favour.

Once again Wang Chuqin (pictured) gets the better of Tomokazu Harimoto (Photo: APAC / Sport Media)
Europe down to one

Women’s Singles: Round of 32

Barbora Balazova has failed to extend her campaign beyond the opening round in Geelong, falling to Korea’s Jeon Jihee (11-9, 11-5, 11-6, 11-3) to leave the European continent with just one remaining hopeful in the women’s singles draw, Austria’s Yui Hamamoto.

On table 3, China’s Li Jiayi upset the order with a 4-0 win at the expense of no.13 seed Saki Shibata (11-9, 11-3, 11-5, 11-3).

Mima Ito off to winning start

Women’s Singles: Round of 32

Facing Minnie Soo Wai Yam, Japanese no.7 seed Mima Ito is through to round two following a straight games victory over her counterpart from Hong Kong (11-9, 11-4, 11-2, 11-6). Another Japanese teenager who enjoyed success at the first hurdle was Miu Hirano with the no.9 seed fighting back from two games down to beat China’s Qian Tianyi 4-2 (6-11, 7-11, 11-3, 13-11, 11-7, 11-6).

Convincing display from Japan’s Mima Ito (Photo: APAC / Sport Media)
Koreans move through

Women’s Singles: Round of 32

Korea Republic’s Suh Hyowon and Choi Hyojoo have both negotiated their round one affairs in the women’s singles event, earning their entry to the last 16 in the process.

For no.10 seed Suh it was a nervous occasion as she narrowly came out on top against Hong Kong’s Lee Ho Ching (6-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-9, 9-11, 8-11, 13-11) but there were no such nerves from Choi, who embraced her inner-warrior to knock no.12 seed Feng Tianwei out of the competition (13-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-8, 6-11, 11-8).

Shock of the day?

Is Sun Mingyang’s victory over Zhu Yuling the biggest upset of the day so far?

Cheng I-Ching falls!

Women’s Singles: Round of 32

Seeded eighth for the women’s singles draw but Cheng I-Ching has been shown the exit in round one, losing out to Chinese qualifier Zhang Qiang by a 4-2 score-line (11-13, 13-11, 3-11, 11-4, 11-8, 11-6). Ding Ning is also through, but only by the skin of her teeth as the third seed was taken the full distance by Liu Weishan (11-5, 11-4, 7-11, 11-6, 5-11, 5-11, 11-9).

Opening round defeat for Chinese Taipei’s Cheng I-Ching (Photo: APAC / Sport Media)
Not to be for Heming Hu

Men’s Singles: Round of 32

The host nation’s Heming Hu has been eliminated at the first hurdle in Geelong with Portuguese opponent Marcos Freitas proving too strong for the no.16 seed on this occasion (11-7, 11-1, 11-7, 11-3).

Elsewhere, World no.1 Xu Xin and Brazilian star Hugo Calderano needed just five games to see off Darko Jorgic and Cho Seungmin respectively while Chinese Taipei qualifier Lin Yun-Ju stunned no.11 seed Koki Niwa in a seven-game thriller (9-11, 11-5, 12-10, 6-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-6).

Success for Sweden, Germany and Korea

Men’s Singles: Round of 32

Kristian Karlsson may not have gotten around Fan Zhendong, but he’ll be happy for his best friend Mattias Falck, who did pick up a 4:0 victory against Lim Jonghoon to assure a Swedish presence as things move forward. Falck, a 2016 Olympian, reigned over the match (13-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-4), though Lim was given a few chances to get a word in edgewise, notably in the first game.

Same goes for Jang Woojin, who contained Zheng Peifeng 4:0 (11-9, 14-12, 11-5, 11-7). Also moving on is Germany’s Patrick Franziska, following his comfortable win over Kazuhiro Yoshimura (11-8, 11-3, 11-3, 11-6).

Mattias Falck focuses on the details.
It wasn’t a walkover, but Fan moves on

Men’s Singles: Round of 32

The Swedes have been studying the Chinese and are beginning to cause them problems, as evidenced by the fact that it took Fan Zhendong seven games to overcome Kristian Karlsson here.

The former World #1, who ceded his place to Xu Xin last week, went game by game with Karlsson in his 4-3 victory (11-6, 8-11, 11-1, 8-11, 11-1, 9-11, 11-6). For Karlsson, this match was a turbulent affair as he struggled to contain Fan’s point runs, though when he did, he was able to convert them into games won.

Fan Zhendong with his game face on.
Long games, big wins

Women’s Singles: Round of 32

The hardest fought matches of the women’s singles round of 32? Austria’s Yui Hamamoto and Japan’s Shiho Matsudaira each escaped endurance runs with 4:3 wins over their opponents. Hamamoto had the most heart-pounding time of it: she was down 3-0 against Australia’s Lay Jian Fang and worked her way out of the do-or-die situation with four fantastic final games (8-11, 3-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-8, 11-4).

Matsudaira, meanwhile, seesawed with Romania’s Bernadette Szocs before delivering the deciding points in game seven (12-10, 9-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-7, 9-11, 13-11).

All’s well that ends well for Yui Hamamoto.
Here come the Suns

Women’s Singles: Round of 32

Game on between Wang Manyu and Sun Yingsha, one of the day’s most highly anticipated matchups. Historically Wang had the advantage, though not by much — the two have met seven times in ITTF play, with Wang coming away with four of those matches, including at the 2019 Worlds in Budapest.

You got a feel for how this one was going to go when they drew even and kept pushing each other from game one, which Sun finally took 14-12. She got the next two as well, drawing a 3-0 lead before Wang even took a game from her. Sun outshone Wang on the whole, going 4:1 (14-12, 11-5, 11-5, 7-11, 11-2) for the win that basically qualifies as an upset. The two are now 4-4 against each other.

It’s a good day to be a Sun, as Sun Mingyang showed in overcoming Zhu Yuling 4:1 (11-9, 11-8, 7-11, 11-7, 11-8).

Sato, Ishikawa take the honors

Women’s Singles: Round of 32

The women’s singles round of 16 will have one all-Chinese matchup (Chen Meng vs. Mu Zi) and now one all-Japanese battle, between Hitomi Sato and Kasumi Ishikawa. Sato dropped her first game to Germany’s Nina Mittelham before rallying to a 4:1 win (10-12, 11-5, 11-7, 11-1, 11-6), while Ishikawa, faced off with 14-year-old sensation Miyuu Kihara, admirably answered with the younger generation’s challenge, 4:0 (11-9, 11-9, 11-7, 11-5).

Kasumi Ishikawa on the ball.
Chen vs. Chen

Women’s Singles: Round of 32

Victorious in women’s singles at last week’s Korea Open in Busan, Chen Meng had no trouble dispatching Chinese Taipei’s Chen Szu-Yu 4:0 (11-7, 11-8, 11-7, 11-7). The World #1 has been a fixture in late tournament play all year, beginning with her win at the Hungarian Open in January through to last week’s triumph in Busan.

It took Mu Zi only a few minutes more to advance 4:0 over Doo Hoi Kem of Hong Kong, though Doo kept pace with the 30-year-old Chinese veteran in games two and four, pushing things into extra points (11-6, 12-10, 11-2, 12-10).

Chen Meng doing her thing and advancing to the round of 16.
Possible upsets and a European rivalry

Men’s Doubles: Round of 16

When you have two Chinese pairs losing their opening games, the smell of an upset (or two) gets stronger. Add to that the Swedish pair of Mattias Falck and coach Kristian Karlsson being irresistible against Germans Benedikt Duda and Qiu Dang (11-6, 11-7, 11-6), then you have a super afternoon stew.

Fan Zhendong and Xu Xin’s pairing were the first to drop a game against Hong Kong’s Lam Siu Hang and Ng Pak Nam. On another table, Ma Long and Lin Gaoyuan synced up to be 8-11 down versus Japan’s Togami Shunsuke and Uda Yukiya. In the end, the Chinese elite duos rolled up their sleeves for 3:1 and 3:2 wins respectively-but it came as an early warning of the fierce competition in Geelong.

The Swedish duo are at it again. (Photo by: Ireneusz Kanabrodzki)
No (quarterfinal) place at home

Men’s Doubles: Round of 16

Today might not go down as a happy day for most Australians, as yet another host pairing perished in the first round of the main event. David Powell and Kane Townsend could not win a game against Indian duo Amalraj Anthony and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran (11-7, 11-3, 11-8).

Meanwhile, the Korean men followed the women’s lead and moved on the next round with spirited showings. Joeung Youngsik and Lee Sangsu had the easier time, with a swift 3:0 win over Czech pair Pavel Sirucek and Labomir Jancarik. Compatriots Jang Woojin and Lim Jonghoon had a tougher time negotiating past Slovenia’s Darko Jorgic and Belgian Florent Lambiet in a 3:2 thriller.

Amalraj Anthony and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran came through to the quarterfinals. (Photo by: Arjun Singh)
No sweat for Korean pairs

Women’s Doubles: Round of 16

Fan favorite Jeon Jihee and her partner Yang Haeun had a straightforward afternoon, as they won 3:0 (11-8, 11-7, 11-5) against Thailand’s Jinnipa Sawettabut and Suthasini Sawettabut.

Powerful service shots were on display from Jeon and Yang, pushing the Sawettabutt sisters into defensive strokes throughout. The match concluded in 25 minutes, which was still longer than the walkover victory for Choi Hyojoo and Lee Eunhye who benefited from Chinese Liu Shiwen’s withdrawal due to injury yesterday.

Jeon Jihee and Yang Haeun move on to the quarters. (Photo by: An Sungho)
European qualifiers unable to march on

Women’s Doubles: Round of 16

French qualifiers Laura Gasnier and Audrey Zarif were unable to step into the quarterfinals, as they came up short against the Japanese duo of Hirano Miu and Shibata Saki.

The speed of Miu and Saki’s backhand-forehand combination turned out to be too hot for the Europeans to handle, meaning a 3:1 win for the Asians. Elsewhere, another European duo exited the tournament as Slovakian Barbora Balazova and Czech Hana Matelova lost out to Japan’s Miyuu Kihara and Miyu Nagasaki in similar fashion (11-4, 8-11, 11-9, 11-9).

Japan’s Miyuu Kihara and Miyu Nagasaki stepped into the quarterfinals with ease.
Spanish duo turn up the heat, but can’t make it count

Mixed Doubles: Round of 16

Alvaro Robles and Maria Xiao brought some Spanish flavor to morning proceedings here in Geelong, as they were involved in a fiery match-up with Hong Kong’s Wong Chun Ting and Doo Hoi Kem.

With both pairs playing their first game of the tournament, the higher intensity was very welcome. The match swung both ways consistently before the Asians got a foothold in the tie and never let go, winning 3:2 (7-11, 11-8, 11-4, 7-11, 11-8).

A battle worthy of the final: The Spanish-Hong Kong battle was an eye opener.
Difficult start for home favorites

Mixed Doubles: Round of 16

It was an extremely difficult start to the main event for the hosts, as the Aussie pairing of Kane Townsend and Jee Minhyung lost in straight games to France’s Tristan Flore and Laura Gasnier (11-6, 11-4, 11-1) in just 15 minutes of game time.

On the only other live table, it took Chinese Taipei duo Lin Yun-Ju and Chen I-Ching 18 minutes to see off Indian doubles partnership of Archana Girish Kamath and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran (11-4, 11-6, 11-8).

Starting the day in style: Laura Gasnier and Tristan Flore. (Photo by Rémy Gros)
Day one commences!

It’s time for day one of the Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour Platinum Australian Open – Here’s the fixture schedule for the day ahead and make sure to watch along live with itTV:

World Tour 2019 Seamaster Australian Open Geelong

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Day 4 - Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour Australian Open