12 Jul 2019

Keep up-to-date with the latest from Geelong with Friday 12th July playing host to day two at the Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour Platinum Australian Open:

Ito aces an exam

Women’s Singles: Quarterfinals

Mima Ito went back and forth and back and forth with Li Jiayi for nearly an hour before taking a 3:2 lead after the fifth game, pulling away to scrape a 4-2 win (9-11, 11-9, 16-14, 9-11, 11-8, 11-5). The 18-year-old continues what has been a very consistent season with what will be her third semis or better appearance. Stay tuned!

Ito is in!
Battle of the suns

Women’s Singles: Quarterfinals

It was Sun Yinsgha over Sun Mingyang for a place in the semifinal, with the Japan Open champion getting the best of her teammate in five rounds (11-5, 11-8, 11-7, 6-11, 11-6). Yingsha fairly cruised to this one, with the fifth game blip the only damp spot in an otherwise dominant performance.

Get ready for some Sun in the women’s semi.
Ding is ringing the bell

Women’s Singles: Quarterfinals

It’s not been the best week for Chinese players in Geelong: First Liu Shiwen withdrew with back problems, then some of the favorites faltered (see below). Happily for the delegation, the resurgent Ding Ning continued her success, beating Zhang Qiang 4-1 (12-10, 11-7, 11-13, 11-8, 13-11) to assure herself a place in the women’s semifinal.

After a down period the past several months, Ding is looking back up again, especially given her performance at last week’s Korea Open. Here in Australia, the stars may be aligning.

Ding is in a good place: the semis.
Fan falls to Franziska!

Men’s Singles: Round of 16

Another early exit for Fan Zhendong, this time at the hands of Germany’s Patrick Franziska, who stayed the course despite losing his first two games to roar back and upset the World #3 in a 4:2 victory (8-11, 7-11, 11-4, 11-9, 11-4, 11-7).

It’s the latest in a series of untimely exits for Fan, whose last finals appearance came at the 2018 Swedish Open, which he won. Franziska, meanwhile, advances to the quarterfinal for the first time since the Qatar Open.

Enter Franziska, with a big victory over Fan.
Chen eliminated by Ishikawa!

Women’s Singles: Quarterfinals

Well, that wasn’t what was expected, was it? World #1 Chen Meng is out of the women’s singles tournament after being eliminated by Japan’s steady Kasumi Ishikawa in a 4-3 shocker (6-11, 6-11, 13-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-5).

Chen started off looking like her usual self and quickly drew a 2-0 lead, only to falter as Ishikawa found her footing and began taking over, despite her 3-1 deficit. The energetic 26-year-old left hander, winner of last year’s Czech Open, thereby goes on to the semis for the first time this season. It was a performance worthy of a bow — and Ishikawa didn’t hesitate to take advantage of the opportunity.

Ma rules over Ovtcharov

Men’s Singles: Round of 16

Few things are better than watching two giants of the game go head-to-head, and the thoroughly entertaining matchup between Dimitrij Ovtcharov and Ma Long was a spectator’s delight. But only one can move on, and in this case it was Ma, who efficiently contained Ovtcharov’s attacks to walk away with a 4:0 win (11-7, 15-13, 11-7, 11-9).

HB to one of GB’s greats

Men’s Singles: Round of 16

Happy birthday to England’s Liam Pitchford, who turns 26 today. Pitchford celebrated early yesterday by qualifying for the round of 16 by a single point, and though 2018 Youth Olympic champion Wang Chuqin may have gotten the better of him today in four games (11-8, 11-9. 11-1, 11-8) the 2012 Olympian can eat his cake contentedly tonight knowing he made his third round of 16 on the World Tour this season.

Hard-fought wins to make the top eight

Men’s Singles: Round of 16

Smiles and sighs of relief from Mathias Falck of Sweden and Hugo Calderano of Brazil, who each won a long battle to arrive at the doors of the quarterfinals. Falck, the lone Swede left in men’s singles after Kristian Karlsson was eliminated yesterday, triumphed 4:3 in a marathon seven game duel with Korea’s Jang Woojin (6-11, 14-12, 4-11, 12-10, 11-6, 5-11, 11-8) that lasted 58 minutes.

It took Calderano an hour to eject Portugal’s Marcos Freitas 4:2 (11-9, 13-11, 11-9, 12-14, 9-11, 11-8).

A tough one, but Falck overcomes.
A Cloudwalker threepeat?

Men’s Singles: Round of 16

No break for Lin Yun-Ju: he went right from his semifinal match in mixed doubles with Cheng I-Ching to facing Xu Xin in men’s singles. No luck, either: the Cloudwalker pounced in straight games, notching a 4-0 win to move on to the quarterfinal (12-10, 13-11, 11-8, 11-6) as expected.

Xu, who took over the World #1 ranking from Fan Zhendong last week, might have been smarting from his semifinals exit, in company with Fan, at the hands of Ma Long and Lin Gaoyuan just before. After singles wins in Japan and Korea, Xu stormclouds are gathering again in Geelong.

Xu reigns over the table.
Two in a row for HK

Mixed Doubles: Semifinals

Wong Chun Ting and Doo Hoi Kem are on fire: the Hong Kong duo upset Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen for the mixed doubles title last week in Korea, and now they’re on track for a second consecutive title on the World Tour. Wong and Doo handily defeated semifinals challengers Lee Sangsu and Jeon Jihee in three quick games (11-9, 11-8, 11-7) to reach the final, where they’ll square off with Jun Mizutani and Mima Ito in a big test for both pairs.

Wong and Doo working wonders together.
Japan reaches the final!

Mixed Doubles: Semifinals

The new partnership continues to pay dividends for Mima Ito and Jun Mizutani, who handily defeated Lin Jun-Yu and Cheng I-Ching 3:0 (11-3, 11-8, 11-9). The combination of Ito’s stealth and quickness and Mizutani’s thoughtful play stymied the pair from Chinese Taipei, allowing Ito and Mizutani to advance to their first World Tour final together.

The Japanese duo fell to Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen in the semifinals at last week’s Korea Open, but here they’ll be going head to head with Hong Kong’s Wong Chun Ting and Doo Hoi Kem, who happened to upset Xu and Liu in Korea. The intrigue is building…

Top brass reach another final

Women’s Doubles: Semifinals

After winning last week’s Korea Open, China’s Cheng Meng and Wang Manyu are set to compete for another Gold in women’s doubles, as they defeated Japan’s Miyuu Kihara and Miyu Nagasaki in the semifinals.

In just over 23 minutes, the top pairing in the world had claimed a 3:0 (11-7, 11-5, 11-9) victory. This means only the Korean duo of Jeon Jihee and Yang Haeun stand in their way, who claimed a spot in the finals after overcoming compatriots Choi Hyojoo and Lee Eunhye (11-9, 11-5, 11-8).

Wang Manyu and Chen Meng have their sights on another Gold.
Chinese domestic upset

Men’s Doubles: Semifinals

It was a case of who had a better day, as two Chinese elite pairings went head-to-head for a place in the final of 2019 Geelong Australian Open. Within half an hour, the much favored Xu Xin and Fan Zhendong team was shocked by the experience of Ma Long and Lin Gaoyuan (11-8, 9-11, 11-8, 11-5).

Starting on the front foot, Ma and Lin were aware of not allowing Xu and Fan to dictate the play. They kept the points short, intensity high and were not shaken by dropping the second game. It was much joy for the fans to see such quality in the match before the final. The veteran pair will now meet Koreans Jeoung Youngsik and Lee Sangsu in the final tomorrow.

Renewed rivalries for Korea and China

Women’s Singles: Round of 16

Two contrasting Korea-China battles were on show in the women’s singles as Jeon Jihee took on in-form Li Jiayi and Ding Ning swept the floor against Choi Hyojoo.

Neither of Jeon or Li let up any favors during the match, with games swinging both ways at every point. Both athletes have had strong runs in Geelong, dropping a combined 3 games over 6 matches. Finally, Li came out on top winning 4:1 (7-11, 12-10, 11-8, 11-7, 11-6). For Ding ‘Queen of Hearts’ Ning, there was no need of a comeback story this time, finishing the match in 24 minutes and with a 4:0 score.

A clean sweep for Ding Ning in the Round of 16. 
Sun rises, but not for Japan

Women’s Singles: Round of 16

After conquering World #2 Wang Manyu in the previous round, China’s Sun Yingsha made short work of Japan’s Shiho Matsudaira in a swift 4:0 encounter (11-2, 11-2, 11-6, 11-5).

Winner of the 2019 Japan Open, Sun looks to be in imperious form given the confidence she is currently displaying in her shots. Taking less than 28 minutes, Shiho was never really allowed to have a grip in the match. Meanwhile, Sun’s compatriot and World #1 Chen Meng had to recover from dropping a game versus another colleague Mu Zi to reach the quarterfinals (11-1, 11-13, 11-1, 11-4, 11-5).

Sun rising in Geelong. (Photo by: Yi Xu) 
Powerful display sends Chinese stars through

Men’s Doubles: Quarterfinals

Champions last week in Busan, Fan Zhendong and Xu Xin are now just two victories from repeating that achievement in Geelong following a 3-1 victory over Hong Kong’s Ho Kwan Kit and Wong Chun Ting (11-8, 11-6, 5-11, 11-4). China also experienced success via Lin Gaoyuan and Ma Long, who simply outclassed the Swedish duo of Mattias Falck and Kristian Karlsson (13-11, 11-5, 11-4).

Elsewhere, Korean top seeds Jeoung Youngsik and Lee Sangsu raced into the semifinals with a convincing win against Germany’s Patrick Franziska and Ricardo Walther (13-11, 11-7, 12-10). Next up for the defending champions is a tie with Amalraj Anthony and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran after the Indian pair fought back from 0-1 behind to beat Korean opposition in the form of third seeds Jang Woojin and Lim Jonghoon (5-11, 11-6, 14-12, 11-8).

Another semifinal spot for Korea.
Koreans show their strength

Women’s Doubles: Quarterfinals

In the two remaining women’s doubles quarterfinal meetings it was a case of victory all-round for Korea Republic: trailing 1-2 on the scoreboard, Choi Hyojoo and Lee Eunhye recovered back-to-back games to see off Romania’s Bernadette Szocs and Spain’s Maria Xiao (11-4, 7-11, 13-15, 11-4, 11-9) while second seeds Jeon Jihee and Yang Haeun powered past Singapore’s Lin Ye and Yu Mengyu (11-7, 18-16, 11-8).

Top seeds pushed hard

Women’s Doubles: Quarterfinals

China’s Chen Meng and Wang Manyu are through to the last four of the women’s doubles event, but were severely tested in their full distance encounter against Japan’s Miu Hirano and Saki Shibata (11-7, 14-12, 7-11, 4-11, 11-6).

The other Japanese partnership on duty in quarterfinals action, Miyuu Kihara and Miyu Nagasaki fared better than their fellow compatriots, beating Australia’s Jee Minhyung and Jian Fang Lay (11-5, 11-3, 11-7) to move to within one win from a spot in the gold medal contest.

Japan’s Miyuu & Miyu and move on to the semis.
All-Hong Kong affair

Mixed Doubles: Quarterfinals

Featuring two partnerships from Hong Kong it was Wong Chun Ting and Doo Hoi Kem that held the upper hand over colleagues Ho Kwan Kit and Lee Ho Ching on table 2 as the second seeds accounted for their sixth seeded opponents by a 3-1 margin (11-1, 12-10, 8-11, 11-7).

Lee Sangsu and Jeon Jihee’s meeting with Lubomir Pistej and Barbora Balazova also favoured the higher seeded pair as the Koreans, seeded fourth, prevailed over their Slovak counterparts across four games (11-5, 7-11, 11-9, 11-4).

Australian hopes dashed

Mixed Doubles: Quarterfinals

The host nation’s Heming Hu and Melissa Tapper have fallen at the quarterfinal stage of the mixed doubles event in Geelong with the no.8 seeded pair losing out to the fierce Japanese combination of Jun Mizutani and Mima Ito in straight games (11-5, 11-6, 11-0).

Over on table 2 it was success for the highly impressive duo of Lin Yun-Ju and Cheng I-Ching: the Chinese Taipei stars cruised past French opponents Tristan Flore and Laura Gasnier, needing just three games to seal the win (11-8, 11-5, 11-8).

Quarterfinal exit for Melissa Tapper and Heming Hu (Photo: APAC / Sport Media)
Exciting action to come on day two!

Following a thrilling opening to the Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour Platinum Australian Open it’s time for day two of main draw action – here’s the fixture schedule and make sure to watch along live with itTV:

World Tour 2019 Seamaster Australian Open Geelong

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Match Highlights

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Day 4 - Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour Australian Open