by Ian Marshall, Editor
Long established traditions were continued in a nation of long established traditions, Hungary is a founder member of the International Table Tennis Federation.
Adding to collection
At the final hurdle, Tomokazu Harimoto, 16 years old, beat colleague Yukiya Uda, 18 years of age (7-11, 11-8, 11-2, 11-6, 11-9); Mima Ito accounted for Chinese Taipei’s Cheng I-Ching, the no.3 seed (11-7, 1-11, 11-6, 7-11, 2-11, 11-9, 11-7).
However, for Mima Ito, there were some nervous moments; down 2-3 in games in the sixth she trailed 2-7 before recovering.
Thus Tomokazu Harimoto secured his fourth ITTF World Tour men’s singles title, for Mima Ito it was her eighth such success.
European hopes end
The hopes of the old continent disappeared at the semi-final stage. In the men’s singles Tomokazu Harimoto beat Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov, the no.3 seed (11-9, 11-8, 11-4, 11-8), Yukiya Uda ended the hopes of England’s Liam Pitchford, the no.9 seed (11-13, 11-8, 11-5, 5-11, 11-6, 11-7.
In the women’s singles, also from Germany, Han Ying, the no.14 seed, lost to Mima Ito (11-7, 11-9, 10-12, 11-7, 11-4)
Notably, success for Tomokazu Harimoto meant that he avenged the most recent result against Dimitrij Ovtcharov; last November when they met in the second round, the German had prevailed.
No Lisbon repeat
The winner the previous week at the 2020 ITTF Challenge Series Platinum Portugal Open in Lisbon, it was not to be consecutive titles for Kasumi Ishikawa; she was beaten at the semi-final stage by Cheng I-Ching (9-11, 11-4, 11-9, 11-7, 10-12, 11-7).
Most familiar adversaries, it was the 21st time they had met in a world ranking tournament, the eighth time Cheng I-Ching had won.
It was totally new territory for Yukiya Uda, the boys’ singles runner up at the 2018 World Junior Championships in Bendigo, Australia.
A milestone, it was the first time he had ever progressed beyond the second round of an ITTF World Tour men’s singles event.
Again the bridesmaid
Once again for Cheng I-Ching it was so near yet so far; the closest she has ever come to winning an ITTF World Tour women’s singles title.
It was her seventh career appearance in an ITTF World Tour women’s singles semi-final but only the second time she had reached the final, the one previous occasion being in 2015 in Austria.
However, it was her best performance in Hungary; her prior best was in 2016 when she reached the semi-finals losing to Hong Kong’s now retired Tie Yana.
- 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
- Reaction from Sunday 23rd February