by Ian Marshall, Editor
Staving off a spirited recovery, in the opening round of the men’s event, Jeoung Youngsik, the no.11 seed, beat China’s Liang Jingkun, the no.5 seed, keeping his nerve when after 24 minutes when the “fast five” came into play.
Eventually, he succeeded in a full distance duel (11-5, 11-10, 7-11, 11-3, 4-5, 2-5, 5-3).
A first round success for Jeoung Youngsik in his first ever match in the 2019 T2 Diamond, it was also the first time he had played Liang Jingkun in an international competition.
Reversed previous decisions
Maintaining focus, it was the same later in the day for Jeon Jihee, the no.15 seed. She accounted for Japan’s Miu Hirano, the no.7 seed (3-11, 11-5, 11-9, 9-11, 5-3, 3-5, 5-3) and in so doing reversed the decision of their previous meetings in world ranking tournaments.
They had met on three prior occasions, on each occasion Miu Hirano had prevailed. She had succeeded at the Liebherr 2017 World Championships as well as earlier this year at the ITTF-ATTU Lion Asian Cup and at the Team World Cup.
Jeoung Youngsik now faces China’s Xu Xin, the top seed; in the same half of the draw, the matches concluded on the opening day of play, Koki Niwa, the no.15 seed, opposes Japanese national team colleague, Tomokazu Harimoto, the no.3 seed.
Chen Meng ended Singaporean hopes
A redoubtable opponent for Jeoung Youngsik, in the women’s event it is the same for Jeon Jihee; she confronts China’s Chen Meng, the no.2 seed.
Earlier in the evening on the second day of play, Chen Meng had ended Singaporean hopes; she accounted for Feng Tianwei, the no.10 seed, in the only contest played so far to a conclusion that did not require the “fast five” format. She prevailed in straight games (11-4, 11-5, 11-7, 11-3).
Dramatic end to day
Tense moments and it was in that vein that the day came to a conclusion; in their umpteenth meeting when taking into account international play and the Russian League, Japan’s Jun Mizutani, the no.10 seed, beat Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov, the no.8 seed (11-10, 9-11, 5-11, 11-9, 5-2, 0-5, 5-4).
Jun Mizutani now meets China’s Lin Gaoyuan, the no.2 seed and opening round winner against Sweden’s Mattias Falck, the no.9 seed (11-8, 11-9, 11-9, 9-11, 5-4); a possible semi-final opponent being Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yun-Ju, the no.4 seed.
In the opening round he accounted for Korea Republic’s Jang Woojin, the no.12 seed (10-11, 11-7, 10-11, 5-3, 5-3, 5-4) and thus reversed the decision of earlier this month when at the Team World Cup in Tokyo, Jang Woojin had prevailed.
At the semi-final stage Lin Yun-Ju faces Germany’s Patrick Franziska, the no.6 seed.
China guaranteed place in final
Meanwhile, in the women’s event, victories for Sun Yingsha and Ding Ning made certain that China will be represented in the final. In the opening round, Su Yingsha, the top seed, beat Chinese Taipei’s Cheng I-Ching, the no.14 seed (11-9, 11-2, 9-11, 11-6, 5-1); Ding Ning, the no.6 seed, ousted colleague, He Zhuojia, the no.6 seed (11-8, 8-11, 11-6, 11-7, 5-2).
At the semi-final stage, Sun Yingsha meets Ding Ning, in the same half of the draw Chen Xingtong opposes Wang Manyu.
The quarter-finals of both the men’s and women’s events will be played on Saturday 23rd November.