by Ian Marshall, Editor
Notable performance but the players to catch the eye were very much Japan’s Yukiya Uda and Germany’s Han Ying; contrary to expectations in the respective men’s singles and women’s singles events, each secured semi-final places.
Third title for Wong Chun Ting and Doo Hoi Kem
Wong Chun Ting and Doo Hoi Kem justified their top seeded position to secure the mixed doubles title; at the final hurdle they beat Germany’s Patrick Franziska and Petrissa Solja, the no.7 seeds and gold medallists last year at the Minsk 2019 European Games. They prevailed by the very narrowest of margins (11-6, 6-11, 11-9, 7-11, 11-9).
Success and a third such success for the Hong Kong duo; in 2019 they won in the Korea Republic and in Australia.
Somewhat differently, it was the first ITTF World Tour final for Patrick Franziska and Petrissa Solja as a partnership.
One step higher for Patrick Franziska
Runners up spot for Patrick Franziska in the mixed doubles, in the men’s doubles it was one step higher; partnering colleague Benedikt Duda, the no.2 seeds, at the final hurdle they accounted for Indian qualifiers Sharath Kamal Achanta and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran (11-5, 11-9, 8-11, 11-9).
A first for title of any description on the ITTF World Tour for Benedikt Duda; for Patrick Franziska he endorsed his quality as doubles player. Previously, partnering Denmark’s Jonathan Groth he had won four times and with colleague Timo Boll on three occasions.
Alas for India, an ITTF World men’s doubles title remains elusive.
Success at third attempt
Runners up last October in Sweden, the same outcome three weeks ago in Germany, it was women’s doubles success for Japan’s Miu Hirano and Kasumi Ishikawa.
The no.4 seeds, they beat Hong Kong’s Doo Hoi Kem and Lee Ho Ching, the no.2 seeds (11-6, 11-9, 12-10) to secure their first ever such title as a pair.
Meanwhile, for Doo Hoi Kem and Lee Ho Ching it was their fourth appearance in an ITTF World Tour women’s doubles final; the third time the runners up. The one win was in 2016 in Croatia.
Han Ying, the no.14 seed, caused the one upset at the quarter-final stage of the women’s singles event; she accounted for Miu Hirano, the no.4 seed, in a gruelling full distance seven games duel decided by the very narrowest of margins (4-11, 11-9, 11-9, 9-11, 8-11, 11-5, 11-9).
Success for Han Ying but for colleague, Nina Mittelham, required to qualify, it was defeat; she was beaten by Japan’s Kasumi Ishikawa, the no.2 seed (11-3, 11-6, 11-3, 11-7).
Han Ying now meets Mima Ito, the top seed, who overcame Hitomi Sato, the no.6 seed and also from Japan (9-11, 7-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-1, 11-2). Chinese Taipei’s Cheng I-Ching, the no.3 seed, who ousted Doo Hoi Kem, the no.5 seed (11-8, 12-10, 13-11, 11-4), faces Kasumi Ishikawa.
Crowned Japanese national champion earlier in the year in January, Japan’s Yukiya Uda continued his progress; at the quarter-final stage of the men’s singles event, the 18 year old beat fellow qualifier, Austria’s 41 years of age Robert Gardos, (11-6, 7-11, 16-18, 11-7, 11-6, 11-7) to reach the penultimate round.
A six games win for Yukiya Uda, it was the same from colleague, Tomokazu Harimoto, the top seed; he accounted for Germany’s Benedikt Duda (12-10, 9-11, 11-6, 12-10, 9-11, 11-4).
Now for Tomokazu Harimoto another German awaits, he meets Dimitrij Ovtcharov, the no.3 seed, who reserved his penultimate round place courtesy of success against the Czech Repulic’s Pavel Sirucek (9-11, 11-3, 11-6, 13-11, 9-11, 11-8). In the opposite half of the draw, Yukiya Uda faces England’s Liam Pitchford, the quarter-final winner against Sweden’s Kristian Karlsson (11-9, 13-11, 11-4, 11-8).
- Reaction from Tuesday 18th February
- Reaction from Wednesday 19th February
- Reaction from Thursday 20th February
- Reaction from Friday 21st February
- Reaction from Saturday 22nd February