by Ian Marshall, Editor
Biggest name to fall in the men’s singles event was Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto, the no.5 seed; he received a taste of his own medicine.
During the past four years the teenager has delighted in toppling senior opponents, the 16 year old was beaten by Chinese Taipei’s 38 year old Chuang Chih-Yuan (9-11, 11-5, 6-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-8).
Next on the list came China’s Liang Jingkun, the no.7 seed, on a day that witnessed mixed fortunes for Korea Republic, Liang Jingkun lost to Cho Seungmin (11-7, 3-11, 11-9, 6-11, 5-11, 11-9, 11-9).
Conversely, Jang Woojin, the no.12 seed and Jeoung Youngsik, the no.16 seed, suffered when facing Chinese adversaries. Jang Woojin was beaten by Xu Chenhao, (11-9, 11-7, 12-10, 11-4); Jeoung Youngsik by Zhao Zihao (11-8, 11-9, 7-11, 9-11, 11-9, 7-11, 11-3). Meanwhile, to add to the woes of the Korea Republic, Lee Sangsu, the no.15 seed, departed at the hands of Frenchman Simon Gauzy (11-7, 16-14, 11-9, 7-11, 12-10).
Similarly, there were both situations for Germany, Benedikt Duda ousted Sweden’s Mattias Falck, the no.8 seed (7-11, 4-11, 11-6, 11-5, 12-10, 8-11, 11-3); soon after Patrick Franziska, the no.14 seed, experienced defeat when facing Japan’s Mizuki Oikawa (6-11, 11-5, 11-6, 6-11, 12-10, 11-1).
Upsets but the top four names in the men’s singles event, all from China, survived the opening round.
Xu Xin, the top seed, eventually overcame Korea Republic’s An Jaehyun (11-4, 9-11, 11-4, 9-11, 11-8, 4-11, 11-3). Rather more comfortably Fan Zhendong, the no.2 seed, beat Japan’s Shunsuke Togami (11-9, 11-5, 9-11, 11-9, 11-7). Similarly, Ma Long, the no.3 seed, succeeded against the host nation’s Qiu Dang (15-13, 11-3, 13-11, 11-7), Lin Gaoyuan, the no.4 seed, prevailed when facing the defensive skills of Slovakia’s Wang Yang (13-11, 11-9, 11-8, 12-10).
Differing fortunes, the scenario befell China in the opening round of women’s singles event. Wang Yidi beat Chinese Taipei’s Cheng I-Ching, the no.8 seed (6-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-2, 11-13, 11-9), Qian Tianyi ousted Japan’s Miu Hirano, the no.11 seed (11-2, 11-9, 11-9, 11-9). Alas for Chen Xingtong, the no.12 seed, it was defeat at Japanese hands. She suffered against the backspin attributes of Honoka Hashimoto (11-7, 8-11, 11-3, 11-4, 4-11, 11-7).
Success against the odds for Honoka Hashimoto, it was the same for colleagues Hina Hayata and Saki Shibata. Hina Hayata beat Singapore’s Feng Tianwei, the no.9 seed (14-12, 11-7, 7-11, 8-11, 11-5, 11-9); Saki Shibata prevailed in opposition to the host nation’s Han Ying, the no.16 seed (10-12, 13-11, 11-9, 11-8, 12-10). The one other seed to fall was Austria’s Sofia Polcanova, the no.14 seed, she was forced to withdraw when scheduled to face China’s Zhang Rui.
Unexpected outcomes but similar to the men the top four advanced. The Chinese trio of Chen Meng, Sun Yingsha and Liu Shiwen followed by Japan’s Mima Ito, all emerged successful in round one.
Chen Meng, the top seed, was tested by Korea Republic’s Suh Hyowon (12-14, 11-5, 10-12, 7-11, 11-7, 15-13, 11-4); in a less exacting manner, Sun Yingsha, the no.2 seed, overcame Hong Kong China’s Doo Hoi Kem (11-4, 11-2, 11-7, 11-6). Likewise, Liu Shiwen, the no.3 seed, beat Germany’s Shan Xiaona (11-8, 12-10, 11-5, 11-5), Mima Ito ended the aspirations of Brazil’s Bruna Takahashi (9-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-9, 11-9).
Only top two pairs survive
Surprises abundant, nowhere was that more prevalent than in the opening round of the men’s doubles; of the top eight seeds, only Korea Republic’s Jeoung Youngsik and Lee Sangsu, in the no.1 spot and the next on the list, Lin Gaoyuan and Ma Long survived.
Notably, Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yun-Ju and Liao Cheng-Ting, the no.3 seeds, lost to Cho Daeseong and Jang Woojin (10-12, 11-6, 6-11, 12-10, 13-11); Benedikt Duda and Qiu Dang departed at the hands of the combination formed by Poland’s Jakub Dyjas and Belgium’s Cédric Nuytinck (11-4, 11-5, 11-7, 11-8).
Somewhat differently in the opening round of the women’s doubles, there was just one surprise outcome. The pairing of Slovakia’s Barbora Balazova and the Czech Republic’s Hana Matelova, the no.4 seeds, lost to the Korea Republic’s Choi Hyojoo and Shin Yubin (7-11, 11-8, 11-9, 14-12). China’s Chen Meng and Wang Manyu, the top seeds, duly progressed as did Chinese Taipei’s Chen Szu-Yu and Cheng Hsien-Tzu, the no.2 seeds.
Similarly, in the mixed doubles, the leading pairs advanced, Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen, the top seeds, booked quarter-final places as did Lin Yun-Ju and Cheng I-Ching; the one casualty was Austria’s Stefan Fegerl and Sofia Polcanova, the no.7 seeds. They lost to Spain’s Alvaro Robles and Maria Xiao (7-11, 11-8, 11-8, 7-11, 11-6).
On Friday 31st January, the quarter and semi-finals of all doubles events plus the second round of the men’s singles and women’s singles will be played.