17 Aug 2019

Follow all the thrills and spills from the second day of the main event, Friday 16th August, in Panagyurishte as the race for Gold at the 2019 ITTF World Tour Asarel Bulgaria Open continues:

Day concludes in Japan’s favour

In the battle between top seed Tomokazu Harimoto and qualifier Chen Chien-An it was the former of the two who held the upper hand: down by two games Chen made a positive response to level the scores at 2-2 but a strong finish from Harimoto saw the title favourite progress (11-8, 11-5, 8-11, 8-11, 11-2, 11-6).

Jun Mizutani is the other player through to the last eight after receiving a walkover win over Asuka Machi.

Harimoto vs Chen

Will it be Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto or Chinese Taipei’s Chen Chien-An who reserves the final quarter-finals spot up for grabs?

Dima too strong for fellow German

Men’s Singles: Round of 16

In the battle of the German players it was Dimitrij Ovtcharov who produced the goods, taking down defensive specialist Ruwen Filus in straight games (11-8, 11-7, 11-8, 11-7).

The other scheduled fixture in the 7.40pm session was called in Marcos Freitas’ favour courtesy of Tomoslav Pucar’s withdrawal.

Dimitrij Ovtcharov outclasses fellow countryman (Photo: Chris Petkov)
All-Japan affair produce seeding upset

Mixed Doubles: Semi-Finals

The lower seeded pair of Jun Mizutani and Mima Ito have come out on top in their all-Japan meeting with Tomokazu Harimoto and Kasumi Ishikawa – only three games were needed to hand the seventh seeds the win (11-2, 11-3, 11-6).

Over on table 2 it was victory for China as qualifiers Ma Te and Wu Yang negotiated Romanian sixth seeds Ovidiu Ionescu and Bernadette Szocs 3-1 (11-4, 11-3, 7-11, 11-5).

Darko Jorgic reacts to exit

Losing out to Zhao Zihao across six games (11-6, 11-6, 11-7, 7-11, 13-15, 11-8), Slovenia’s Darko Jorgic has taken the time to speak about his journey in Panagyurishte.

“Zhao Zihao was better today. I will try to beat him next time and make it to the quarter-finals. This is my best result on the World Tour. I’ve been playing really well in the last few events, beaten some good players in Australia. I think I’m really starting to play well on the World Tour, next is the Czech Open. I will try to do well to qualify and do better.” Darko Jorgic

Against the odds, Nigerian star scores mighty victory

Men’s Singles: Round of 16

Quadri Aruna is on a roll in Panagyurishte, backing up his opening round exploits against Ma Te with another eye-catching display in the Round of 16. The no.10 seed from Nigeria sealed his spot in the last eight thanks to a superb 4-3 win over no.7 seed Wong Chun Ting (11-9, 11-9, 4-11, 3-11, 11-9, 5-11, 11-5)!

Polcanova and Szocs meet their match

Women’s Doubles: Semi-finals

European hopes have been dashed in the women’s doubles event following a semi-finals exit for the Austrian and Romanian combination of Sofia Polcanova and Bernadette Szocs, who fell to China’s Gu Yuting and Mu Zi (8-11, 12-10, 13-11, 11-5).

In the other semi-final China experienced defeat with Chen Xingtong and Li Jiayi losing out to the no.5 seeds from Japan, Miu Hirano and Saki Shibata (11-3, 5-11, 11-6, 11-8).

Sofia Polcanova and Bernadette Szocs miss out on title shot (Photo: Chris Petkov)
Japanese duo make finals

Men’s Doubles: Semi-finals

Yukiya Uda and Kazuhiro Yoshimura continued their fine form today as they soundly defeated the Iranian pairing of Nima Alamian and Noshad Alamiyan in straight games to reach the final (11-6, 11-4, 11-6).

The Japanese duo attacked every shot their opponents threw at them, leaving nothing to chance. Perhaps that was the reason why they wrapped up the win in under 15 minutes.

Miu meets her match

Women’s Singles: Quarter-finals

It was quite the turn of events here in Panagyurishte, as Japan’s Miu Hirano lost in straight games to China’s Chen Xingtong (11-9, 11-5, 11-3, 11-9).

The former World no.7 Chen was imperious against Hirano, taking just over half an hour to see the match through. The Japanese player, playing her first match of the tournament after her opponent withdrew in the last round, could not beat back the force of her Chinese opponent’s forehands.

Chen Xingtong looked mighty impressive against Miu Hirano.
Wu beats Suh

Women’s Singles: Quarter-finals

China’s Wu Yang beat Korea’s Suh Hyowon in five games, with the score-line of 4-1 hardly telling the full story (11-9, 11-3, 11-2, 3-11, 11-5).

Both women were fighting for every point and the match was very much a close mental battle. Wu seemingly came out on top, but it was not for a lack of effort from the Korean. Over on Table 4, a huge upset went down as Singaporean Yu Mengyu beat Japan’s Miyu Kato in fine fashion to reach her first quarter-finals on the World Tour since 2016 (11-7, 11-9, 7-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-7)!

Speedy Asians progress in style

Men’s Doubles: Quarter-finals

Japan’s Yukiya Uda and Kazuhiro Yoshimura were almost in a rush, when they beat Belgians Martin Allegro and Florent Lambiet in less than 19 minutes (11-8, 11-7, 13-11).

Elsewhere, Koreans Jeoung Youngsik and Lee Sangsu did one better, wrapping up their match against host nation’s Teodor Alexandrov and Denislav Kodjabashev in 18 minutes, with a resounding win in the final game (11-5, 11-7, 11-1).

Koreans fail to spoil China party

Women’s Doubles: Quarter-finals

South Korea’s Jeon Jihee and Yang Haeun came very close to spoiling an early morning party for the Chinese, as Gu Yuting and Mu Zi saw off their challenges in five games (7-11, 11-7, 11-13, 16-14, 11-8).

It was an impressive display of character from Gu and Mu, coming back to win after being 1-2 down during the match. Meanwhile, the other Chinese pairing of Chen Xingtong and Li Jiayi had a simpler day at the office, needing only three games to move to the semi-finals, defeating Romanians Daniela Monteiro Dodean and Elizabeta Samara (11-6, 12-10, 11-8).

Jeon Jihee and Yang Haeun could not make their lead count.
Powerful start for the Japanese duo

Mixed Doubles: Quarter-finals

Jun Mizutani and Mima Ito started the day here Bulgaria with a powerful, yet close win over Austrians Stefan Fegerl and Sofia Polcanova (11-6, 10-12, 11-8, 7-11, 11-3).

The Japanese duo were pushed at every alternate game, but kept up their pressure to come out on top. Mizutani and Ito will be pleased with this, given how close the Austrians came to causing an upset.

And the main stages continue!

Catch all the live scores and upsets, here:

World Tour 2019 Asarel Bulgaria Open 2019 ITTF World Tour Bulgaria Open

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Day 4 - 2019 ITTF World Tour Asarel Bulgaria Open

Match Highlights