by Simon Daish
Seeded no.11 in the women’s singles race, Wang Yidi’s campaign began on Thursday 5th March in opposition to fellow compatriot Zhang Rui. A lively conflict between the two, it was Wang who held the upper hand across five games (11-8, 11-4, 11-7, 6-11, 14-12).
The arrival of a new day and with it a new opponent, a much sterner test awaited as Wang brought the battle to Japanese no.8 seed, Kasumi Ishikawa. All three previous head-to-head meetings had gone in Wang’s favour and their fourth heralded yet another win for the Chinese player.
Dictating the pace right from the word “go” Wang denied Ishikawa any real opportunity to establish a foothold on the match. Try as she may the Japanese competitor just couldn’t find an answer as Wang emerged victorious 4-3 (11-3, 8-11, 11-7, 11-6, 8-11, 12-10), raising her fist in the air in celebration at the match’s conclusion.
Highly impressive work from Wang to reach the last eight but that was where her journey was halted, falling to two-time Qatar Open champion Chen Meng 4-1 (11-5, 11-8, 13-15, 11-6, 11-6).
So, a quarter-final exit for Wang but on the whole the 2020 Qatar Open has been a positive experience for the Chinese player who continues to show her potential.
Gold medallist at the 2019 ITTF World Tour Hong Kong Open, Wang progressed to achieve semi-final finishes in Germany and Austria before replicating the result at the World Tour Grand Finals in Zhengzhou, China. Heading into 2020 with a spring in her step, Wang accounted for Chinese Taipei’s Cheng I-Ching and China’s He Zhuojia to reach the quarter-finals at the 2020 ITTF World Tour Platinum German Open and is now a top eight finisher in Qatar.
The signs continue to look very promising for Wang Yidi but can she take the next step and break into the leading pack?