by Ian Marshall, Editor
The somewhat sensational winner in the Malaysian city, when beating China’s Fan Zhendong in the final, in Singapore, Lin Yun-Ju, the no.4 seed, faces Korea Republic’s Jang Woojin, the no.12 seed, in the opening round.
Following last week’s 2019 ITTF World Tour Platinum bet-at-home.com Austrian Open, Lin Yun-Ju starts the favourite; he advanced to the quarter-finals, where Fan Zhendong extracted revenge but earlier in the month when he met Jang Woojin in Tokyo at the ZEN-NOH 2019 Team World Cup, the verdict went in favour of the Korean.
Lin Yun-Ju and Jang Woojin appear in the same quarter of the draw as Korea Republic’s Lee Sangsu, the no.13 seed and Germany’s Patrick Franziska, the no.6 seed, both players who fell short in Austria. Lee Sangsu failed to progress through the qualification stage, Patrick Franziska was beaten in the opening round by Jeoung Youngsik, the no.11 seed in Singapore and like Lee Sangsu from Korea Republic. However, the odds favour Lee Sangsu, five meetings on the international stage, Lee Sangsu has won all five.
Same half of draw
Notably in the same half of the draw, Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov, the no.10 seed, meets Japan’s Jun Mizutani, the no.10 seed; Sweden’s Mattias Falck, the no.9 seed, opposes China’s Lin Gaoyuan, the no.2 seed. Who knows what might happen between Dimitrij Ovtcharov and Jun Mizutani, they have met so many times; arguably having beaten Mattias Falck earlier this year in Qatar, Lin Gaoyuan starts the favourite.
In the opposite half of the draw, China’s Xu Xin, the top seed, opposes Hong Kong’s Wong Chun Ting, the no.14 seed, a player he has beaten in nine of their ten meetings on the international stage; awaiting is either Jeoung Youngsik or also from China, Liang Jingkun, the no.5 seed. It is their first international meeting.
Potential semi-final adversares, in the adjacent half of the draw Brazil’s Hugo Calderano, the no.7 seed faces Japan’s Koki Niwa, the no.15 seed, the player he beat at the quarter-final stage in Austria; the host nation’s Clarence Chew, the no.16 seed, also confronts Japanese opposition, he plays Tomokazu Harimoto, the no.3 seed.
Meet in opening round
The absence of Fan Zhendong means there can be no repeat of the Johor Bahru final; likewise there will be no repeat of the women’s singles final. Zhu Yuling and Wang Manyu clash swords in the opening round; Zhu Yuling is the no.11 seed, Wang Manyu, the no.4 seed.
An all Chinese engagement, in the same half of the draw there is one more; Ding Ning, the no.6 seed, faces He Zhuojia, the no.12 seed; for Ding Ning and He Zhuojia either colleague Sun Yingsha, the top seed, or Chinese Taipei’s Cheng I-Ching, the no.14 seed, awaits. Meanwhile, for Zhu Yuling and Wang Manyu it is either compatriot Chen Xingtong, the no.11 seed, or Singapore’s Yu Mengyu, the no.16 seed.
Status suggests Sun Yingsha and Chen Xingtong start as clear favourites but on the only occasion in a world ranking tournament when Sun Yingsha met Cheng I-Ching, the 2018 ITTF World Tour German Open, she lost.
Colleagues meet the outcome is often very unpredictable; it is the same in the lower half of the draw, Japan’s Mima Ito, the no.3 seed, fresh from her Austrian triumph, faces colleague Kasumi Ishikawa, the no.9 seed. In the same half of the draw there is also Japanese interest, Hitomi Sato, the no.13 seed, opposes China’s Wang Yidi, the no.8 seed, Miu Hirano, the no.7 seed, plays Korea Republic’s Jeon Jihee, the no.15 seed.
Japanese interest, there is also Singaporean interest, Feng Tianwei, the no.10 seed, confronts China’s Chen Meng, the no.2 seed; Chen Meng is the clear favourite, she has beaten Feng Tianwei in 12 of their 13 international encounters. However, the one won by Feng Tianwei was the most recent, earlier this year, she prevailed in their second round encounter at the ITTF World Tour German Open.
Four enticing days beckon in Singapore.