05 Oct 2019

Ever closer to determining the names of the medallists; on Friday 4th October at the 2019 ITTF World Tour Swedish Open in Stockholm more steps will be taken to decide the names that will be added to the role of honour of one of the longest running international tournaments the sport has to offer.

At the end of the day we will know the names of the men's and women's singles quarter-finalists; as well as the finalists in the men's doubles, women's doubles and mixed doubles events.

Sun continues to shine

Women’s Singles: Round Two (Round of 16)

It may be the evening hours of the day in Stockholm but the sun is shining in the arena, that sun is none other than Sun Yingsha. Taking on Japanese defender Honoka Hashimoto in round two of the women’s singles event, Sun posted a 4-2 victory to seal her place in the quarter-finals (11-5, 11-4, 12-14, 11-9, 8-11, 11-7).

Fellow Chinese representative Ding Ning also progresses courtesy of a 4-0 win against Chinese Taipei’s Cheng I-Ching (11-9, 12-10, 11-4, 11-7) – In the last eight Sun and Ding do battle.

Wang Manyu powers to victory

Seeing off Monaco’s Yang Xiaoxin in straight games (11-8, 11-2, 14-12, 11-4), Wang Manyu had little trouble getting used to her opponent’s rubber and stylistic choices:

“Yang uses long pimpled rubber on the backhand, she attacks strongly from that side of the racquet but it wasn’t too difficult to adapt to her style of play. Towards the end of the third game, I took a ‘Time Out’ in order to make sure that I was focused on each point.” Wang Manyu

Seven-game epic

Women’s Singles: Round Two (Round of 16)

Two of the finest young players Japan has to offer, Mima Ito and Miu Hirano have just met face-to-face in a spectacular Round of 16 battle. Down 1-2 and then 2-3 but Ito refused to give up the fight showing great character to win games six and seven by the narrowest of margins, edging the contest 4-3 overall (11-8, 12-14, 7-11, 11-4, 10-12, 11-9, 11-8).

“It’s a difficult match for both of us. Winning the sixth game was absolutely crucial but every game was important. Mentally it was really tough especially playing against Miu who plays in such a free and open manner.” Mima Ito

Mima Ito holds her nerve (Photo: Ireneusz Kanabrodzki)
Koki Niwa suffers elimination!

Men’s Singles: Round Two (Round of 16)

We’ve lost another big name from the men’s singles competition in the 18.00pm session of play with Japanese no.7 seed Koki Niwa losing out to French star Simon Gauzy across six games (11-9, 11-8, 6-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-8). That wasn’t the sole disappointment of the session for Japan as Jun Mizutani also bid his farewells, experiencing a 4-0 defeat at the hands of second seed Fan Zhendong (11-9, 11-8, 11-6, 14-12).

One German through, another departs

Men’s Singles: Round Two (Round of 16)

Dimitrij Ovtcharov has booked his spot in the last eight of the men’s singles draw in Stockholm following a powerful display from the eighth seeded German against Hong Kong’s Wong Chun Ting (11-3, 11-8, 12-10, 11-4). However, fellow German competitor Patrick Franziska is out of the running: facing tough opposition in the form of Lin Gaoyuan, Franziska couldn’t find a way past the third seed from China in a fierce five-game affair (11-4, 11-5, 11-8, 10-12, 11-5).

“I had good tactics, I was determined and I didn’t make easy mistakes. I think after I won the first game comfortably, his confidence went down; I was able to take advantage of that situation. The third game was close, at 11-10 I decided to change my receive of service, I pushed long, it surprised him. In the fourth I made a really good start and felt increasingly comfortable.” Dimitrij Ovtcharov

Quarter-finals awaits, Dima on the right track (Photo: Ireneusz Kanabrodzki)
Victorious Japanese pair reacts

Following a fine semi-final outing in partnership with Miu Hirano, Kasumi Ishikawa believes the serve and return game played a vital role in the Japanese duo’s success:

“I think what was important was that we both served really well and we returned service well, it meant we could control the match. Also, the direction of our play was good.” Kasumi Ishikawa

Higher seeded pairs crash out

Women’s Doubles: Semi-Finals

Despite heading into the semi-finals of the women’s doubles event with superior placement in the seeding list Korea Republic’s Jeon Jihee and Yang Haeun departed the proceedings in the 16.20pm session, a fate shared by Hong Kong’s Doo Hoi Kem and Lee Ho Ching.

No.3 seeds Jeon Jihee and Yang Haeun struggled to find a foothold in their match against the pair seeded two position lower in China’s Chen Meng and Ding Ning, who needed just three games to get the job done (11-7, 11-9, 11-3). Doo Hoi Kem and Lee Ho Ching, seeded fourth, also suffered a straight games exit (11-6, 11-7, 11-8) with Japanese qualifiers Miu Hirano and Kasumi Ishikawa moving through in their stead.

Qualifiers Kasumi Ishikawa and Miu Hirano just one win away from women’s doubles title (Photo: Ireneusz Kanabrodzki)
Comeback display seals another Chinese gold

Men’s Doubles: Semi-Finals

Liang Jingkun and Lin Gaoyuan survived a mighty scare in their men’s doubles semi-final meeting with Hungarian opponents Nandor Ecseki and Adam Szudi, recovering from a seemingly perilous 0-2 deficit to edge through to the final by a narrow 3-2 score-line (9-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-7).

In the other semi-final encounter, third seeds Fan Zhendong and Xu Xin posted a convincing win at the expense of Poland’s Jakub Dyjas and Belgium’s Cedric Nuytinck (11-9, 11-6, 11-7). Success in both semi-finals means another guaranteed gold medal for Team China.

“I’ve felt tired since my third match today; that might well be the reason why sometimes I feel frustrated. All the time I try to keep my mood positive. Fan Zhendong is a powerful player, I play more tactically. We communicate well so that we can predict the return of service and Fan Zhendong can attack safely.” Xu Xin

Xu-Liu survive scare to make final

Mixed Doubles: Semi-Finals

The Chinese pairing of Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen had a tough start against Hungary’s Adam Szudi and Szandra Pergel but managed to turn the tables and claim a place in the final tomorrow (8-11, 12-10, 11-6, 11-6).

Going down 8-11 in the first game, Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen hit back hard and then some. Neither Szudi nor Pergel had any response to the sudden change of pace in the match, as the Chinese athletes dialed up the power of their shots. Meeting them in the final will be Japanese Jun Mizutani and Mima Ito, who themselves saw off the challenge of China’s Lin Gaoyuan and Wang Manyu in a 3-11 victory (11-7, 7-11, 11-6, 11-9).

Brave run comes to an end for Adam Szudi and Szandra Pergel (Photo: Ireneusz Kanabrodzki)
Liu wins Chinese domestic, Nagasaki falls

Women’s Singles: Round Two (Round of 16)

Chinese elite were at it again, as Liu Shiwen needed 4 games to see off compatriot Chen Xingtong while Qian Tianyi was imperious against the in-form Japanese Miyu Nagasaki.

“I prepared well because I knew I would face some difficulties; yesterday she beat Zhu Yuling. We have met before, so I knew it would be a tough match. In the fourth game, I rushed a little, I needed to be more patient.” Qian Tianyi

Qian needed just 25 minutes to blitz to a 4-0 (11-5, 11-3, 11-4, 11-8) win over Nagasaki, who was largely considered to be the surprise package this week. Over at Table 2, Liu started strongly against Xingtong, but faced her response as she lost the third game 9-11. Eventually, the World Champion Liu found her mojo back and wrapped up the match 4-1 (11-3, 11-4, 9-11, 11-6, 11-9).

Wang wins battle of Gen Z

Men’s Singles: Round Two (Round of 16)

There were two teenagers advertised to dazzle the crowds here in Stockholm as the wildly anticipated match between Wang Chuqin (19) and Tomokazu Harimoto (16) was less of an intense battle than we had imagined.

Instead, China’s Wang Chuqin took the game by the scruff of the neck and landed a 4-0 (11-5, 11-4, 12-10, 11-4) win over the Japanese prodigy. In a match lasting 27 minutes, Wang just about covered all his bases and did not let Harimoto have any real foot in the game.

“I know Harimoto well. Playing against him you must take every chance to attack quickly. In the third game life became tougher because I made some mistakes. In the fourth game I took a “Time Out” at 8-4; it was just to calm myself down and stay focused” Wang Chuqin

Wang Chuqin (pictured) outclasses Tomokazu Harimoto (Photo: Ireneusz Kanabrodzki)
Doo-Lee halt the homecoming run

Women’s Doubles: Quarter-finals

Hong Kong’s Doo Hoi Kem and Lee Ho Ching lived up to their billing as they halted the success story of host nation’s Matilda Ekholm and Christina Kallberg, defeating the Swedes 3-0 (12-10, 12-10, 11-7).

In a powerful display of their experience, Doo and Lee soaked up the pressure posed to them from the relentless shots thrown their way by Kallberg and Ekholm. After wading the tide of the first two games, the Hong Kong pair breezed in the final game, giving themselves further belief they can go beyond the semi-finals they just qualified for.

Team Jakub-Cedric rolls on

Men’s Doubles: Quarter-finals

The Belgium-Poland duo of Cedric Nuytinck and Jakub Dyjas enjoyed a fine morning session as they beat French pair Tristan Flore and Emmanuel Lebesson in straight games (11-3, 11-5, 11-8).

“We made a really good start, good timing, good power and tactically very good; our placement was good. Also we were good with service and receive. The important point was to keep our focus, in the third game we were ahead 8-3, they came back to 9-8.” Jakub Dyjas

Dyjas and Nuytinck’s movement was emphatic as they cordially synced into dropping only 16 points against their European colleagues in a stylish match. Across the other tables, two Chinese pairs in Fan Zhendong/Xu Xin and Liang Jingkun/Lin Gaoyuan coasted through to the semi-finals as they saw off Russians Vladimir Sidorenko and Kirill Skachkov, and the Czech Republican pair Lubomir Jancarik and Tomas Polansky.

Cedric Nuytinck and Jakub Dyjas : The handshake of semi-finalists!
European stars meet Asian walls

Mixed Doubles: Quarter-finals

Poland’s Jakub Dyjas and Natalia Partyka met the same fate as their French colleagues Tristan Flore and Laura Gasnier, as the Asians from Japan and China saw their pairs off in style.

Jun Mizutani and Mima Ito took care of Dyjas and Partyka in a 3-0 win (11-2, 11-6, 11-4) in under 15 minutes. Their Chinese friends Lin Gaoyuan and Wang Manyu kept up their run of victories when they beat Flore and Gasnier by the exact same scoreline (11-9, 11-7, 11-7).

Let the battles begin!
World Tour 2019 Swedish Open Stockholm

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Day 1 - 2019 ITTF World Tour Swedish Open