15 Nov 2019

Crowned world junior champion just under one year ago in the Australian city of Bendigo, the win recorded by China’s Qian Tianyi in the opening round of the women’s singles event on Thursday 14th November at the 2019 ITTF World Tour Platinum Austrian Open in Linz overshadowed all others.

Against all expectations, the 19 year old recovered from a three games to one deficit to beat compatriot Liu Shiwen, the no.2 seed (8-11, 11-8, 8-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-8), the winner of the women’s singles title in April at the Liebherr 2019 World Championships and more recently, in October gold medallists at the Uncle Pop 2019 Women’s World Cup in Chengdu.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

The win rather masked the quite outstanding efforts of Japan’s 15 year old Miyuu Kihara; she ousted Romania’s Bernadette Szocs, the no.13 seed and in some style; a straight games win was the order of the day (11-8, 11-8, 11-6, 11-4).

Likewise in the opening round of the women’s singles event, just as Qian Tianyi beat an illustrious colleague and Miyuu Kihara showed no charity, so did Hina Hayata. She overcame Japanese teammate Miu Hirano, the no.5 seed, in straight games (12-10, 11-9, 11-4, 12-10).

Notable performances, it was the same from China’s Gu Yuting and Wang Yidi. In the opening round, Gu Yuting beat Singapore’s Feng Tianwei, the no.8 seed (11-8, 9-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-7, 13-11); Wang Yidi ended the hopes of compatriot Chen Xingtong (9-11, 11-8, 5-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-6).

Wang Yidi who beat Chen Xingtong (Photo: Rémy Gros)

Similarly, now 36 years old and a member of the more experienced brigade, Germany’s Han Ying overcame Austria’s Liu Jia, the no.16 seed (11-8, 11-9, 11-5, 11-3).

Disappointment for the host nation but there was success; in the contest that brought the day to a conclusion, by the very narrowest of decisions, Sofia Polcanova, the no.12 seed, accounted for Korea Republic’s Choi Hyojoo (13-11, 8-11, 13-11, 9-11, 8-11, 16-14, 12-10).

Upsets but with the exception of Liu Shiwen for the remaining leading names it was first round women’s singles success. China’s Zhu Yuling, the top seed, beat Luxembourg’s Ni Xialian (12-10, 11-8, 11-5, 11-7); Japan’s Mima Ito, the no.3 seed, overcame Monaco’s Yang Xiaoxin (11-9, 14-12, 12-10, 11-5); colleague, Kasumi Ishikawa, the no.4 seed, prevailed against Chinese Taipei’s Chen Szu-Yu (11-9, 12-10, 11-9, 11-7).

Zhu Yuling made a most impressive start by beating Ni Xia Lian (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Opening round surprises

Similarly in the opening round of the men’s singles event there were surprises; pride of place going to England’s Liam Pitchford and Slovenia’s Darko Jorgic. Liam Pitchford beat Japan’s Jun Mizutani, the no.11 seed (8-11, 11-1, 11-2, 9-11, 11-8, 13-15, 11-3); Darko Jorgic accounted for Korea Republic’s Jang Woojin, the no.12 seed (11-5, 9-11, 8-11, 11-9, 14-12, 15-13).

Defeat contrary to status for the Korea Republic, for Jeoung Youngsik it was the reverse situation; he beat Germany’s Patrick Franziska, the no.13 seed (4-11, 11-9, 11-6, 9-11, 11-5, 11-9) to reserve his place in round two.

Problems for Patrik Franziska; it was the same for the host nation’s Robert Gardos, the no.15 seed, as it was for Daniel Habesohn, the no.16 seed. Robert Gardos lost to Frenchman, Simon Gauzy (8-11, 11-2, 8-11, 11-7, 12-10, 8-11, 11-8); Daniel Habeshon suffered at the hands of China’s Zhao Zhihao (13-11, 11-5, 11-9, 12-10).

Robert Gardos, narrowly beaten by Simon Gauzy (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Leading Names

Testing times, it was little different for the leading names; the difference being that victory was the end result.

China’s Fan Zhendong and Lin Gaoyuan, the respective top two seeds, both enjoyed success; Fan Zhendong beat Japan’s Mizuki Oikawa (11-6, 11-7, 11-6, 14-12), Lin Gaoyuan halted the aspirations of Korea Republic’s An Jaehyun (12-10, 11-8, 6-11, 9-11, 11-2, 11-5).

Not to be upstaged, Tomokazu Harimoto, the no.3 seed and like Mizuki Oikawa from Japan, accounted for Germany’s Ruwen Filus (11-6, 9-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-6); Brazil’s Hugo Calderano, the no.4 seed, emerged successful in the all Pan American contest. He prevailed against Kanak Jha of the United States (11-9, 8-11, 8-11, 11-5, 11-3, 11-5).

Hugo Calderano (nearest camera) beat Kanak Jha to reserve his second round place (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Japanese duo cause major upset

Surprises of note, it was no different in the opening round of the men’s doubles, Japan’s Masataka Morizono and Maharu Yoshimura overcame Chinese Taipei’s Liao Cheng-Ting and Lin Yun-Ju, the no.2 seeds (11-4, 8-11, 11-9, 11-6).

Conversely, for Korea Republic’s Jeoung Youngsik and Lee Sangsu, the top seeds, it was success against Brazil’s Vitor Ishiy and Gustavo Tsuboi (11-8, 11-8, 2-11, 11-6).

Similarly, China’s Liang Jingkun and Lin Gaoyuan, the no.3 seeds, defeated the French pairing of Tristan Flore and Emmannuel Lebesson but it was mightily close, the contest went the full five games distance being determined by the minimal margin in the decider (11-9, 10-12, 7-11, 11-9, 12-10).

Masataka Morizono (left) and (right) Maharu Yoshimura caused a major opening round men’s doubles upset (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Second seeds fall

Defeat for the second seeds in the opening round of the men’s doubles event; it was the same in the women’s doubles, on what was not a good day for Hong Kong. In addition to Doo Hoi Kem and Lee Ho Ching losing to Singapore’s Lin Ye and Yu Mengyu (8-11, 15-13, 11-8, 11-9), Ng Wing Nam and Minnie Soo Wai Yam, the no.4 seeds, suffered at the hands of Wu Yue and Lily Zhang of the United States (11-6, 11-6, 13-11).

The United States successful against the odds; likewise Japan’s Miu Hirano and Kasumi Ishikawa beat Hungary’s Dora Madarasz and Szandra Pergel, the no.7 seeds (11-3, 11-8, 11-3); Korea Republic’s Jeon Jihee and Shin Yubin halted the aspirations of the combination formed by Sofia Polcanova and Bernadette Szocs (11-4, 11-6, 12-10).

Unexpected outcomes, not for the top seeds, nor for the no.3 seeds; Miyuu Kihara and Japanese colleague, Miyu Nagasaki accounted for Romania’s Daniela Monteiro Dodean and Elizabeta Samara (11-6, 11-5, 9-11, 9-11, 11-6); the combination of the Slovakia’s Barbora Balazova and the Czech Republic’s Hana Matelova defeated the pairing of England’s Tin-Tin Ho and Austria Karolne Mischek (14-12, 11-8, 11-9).

Miyuu Kihara (left) and (right) Miyu Nagasaki accounted for Daniela Monteiro Dodean and Elizabeta Samara in their opening contest (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Belarus duo outstanding

Outcomes not to be anticipated, it was even more so in the opening round of the mixed doubles; the pair to catch the eye being Aliaksandr Khanin and Daria Trigolos of Belarus; they beat Lin Yun-Ju and Cheng I-Ching, the no.2 seeds (11-6, 11-6, 11-7). Similarly, Wong Chun Ting and Doo Hoi Kem, the top seeds, departed but perhaps no great surprise; they lost to China’s Lin Gaoyuan and Zhu Yuling (11-8, 11-7, 15-13).

First round exits, it was the same for Slovakia’s Lubomir Pistej and Barbora Balazova, the no.7 seeds, they lost to Korea Republic’s Cho Daeseong and Shin Yubin (11-9, 11-5, 11-6); likewise the host nation’s Stefan Fegerl and Yuan Jia Nan suffered against the French pairing of Emmanuel Lebesson and Yuan Jia Nan (5-11, 11-5, 11-5, 13-11).

Major surprises but two notable pairs did survive. Jun Mizutani and Mima Ito, the no.3 seeds, beat Romania’s Ovidiu Ionescu and Bernadette Szocs (11-7, 11-7, 11-6); Lee Sangsu and Jeon Jihee, the no.4 seeds, overcame Germany’s Patrick Franziska and Petrissa Solja (11-3,13-11, 11-6).

Aliaksandr Khanin (left) and (right) Daria Trigolos caused a major upset by beating Lin Yun-Ju and Cheng I-Ching (Photo: Rémy Gros)


Play continues on Friday 15th November, the day on which the finalists in the men’s doubles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles, as well as the men’s singles and women’s singles quarter-finalists, will be decided.

World Tour 2019 Austrian Open Qian Tianyi

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Day 4 - 2019 ITTF World Tour Austrian Open