05 Jul 2020

Han Ying, the top seed and backbone of Germany’s silver medal team success at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, won the Düsseldorf Women’s Masters on Sunday 5th July.

However, she was not the star of the show; that accolade belonged to a young lady 20 years her junior; 17 years old Sophia Klee stole the limelight.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Not seeded, on the opening day of play she had ousted Yuki Tsutsui, the no.8 seed (8-11, 12-10, 6-11, 11-8, 11-7), prior to ending the hopes of Nina Mittelham, the no.2 seed (11-8, 8-11, 14-12, 9-11, 11-5).

One day later Sophia Klee maintained her form; at the semi-final stage she accounted for Wan Yuan, the no.6 seed, (14-12, 13-11, 11-8), before the ever reliable defensive skills of Han Ying ended adventures (11-2, 8-11, 11-3, 11-7).

“I am happy with my second place! Ying is of course better by several classes and also I don’t like to play against defence. I hope that there were some good rallies in the final for the spectators on the livestream. The semi-final against Yuan could have been the other way around. The first two games were very close and the third she led 8-3. I am very happy that I reached the final at the Masters. I never expected this.” Sophia Klee

Sophia Klee excelled all expectations (Jörg Fuhrmann)


Wan Yuan in form

Most certainly, the semi-final encounter against Wan Yuan was closer than the three straight games victory margin may suggest; moreover, Wan Yuan was in good form; earlier in the day at the quarter-final stage, she had beaten Barbora Balazova, the no.4 seed, in the closest match of the day (12-10, 4-11, 11-9, 8-11, 14-12).

“I was happy about my victory against Barbora, I put a lot of energy into the game but I am sad about the defeat against Sophia and also a bit disappointed. Sophia played really well against me today. She had a very good tactic and I couldn’t develop my game. In the end, I ran out of breath.” Wan Yuan

Wan Yuan ran out of steam against Sophia Klee  (Jörg Fuhrmann)


Pleased with performance

Impressive progress to the final; it was the same in the opposite half of the draw; in the penultimate round Han Ying accounted for Shan Xiaona, the no.3 seed (11-8, 11-5, 12-10), the quarter-final victor earlier in the day when facing Sarah de Nutte, the no.5 seed (11-6, 12-10, 11-3).

“I played pretty relaxed and hadn’t won against Shan for a long time. I didn’t have any pressure and attacked very well, so maybe that made her a bit insecure. She also didn’t play as well as I expected. Overall, my tournament performance was fine, even if I played a bit too relaxed in the final. Congratulations to Sophia, she fought very well.” Han Ying

Shan Xiaona at full stretch (Photo: Jörg Fuhrmann)


The women’s tournament complete, now the men return; the fifth round of the Düsseldorf Masters will be played from Friday 10th to Sunday 12th July.

Live Broadcast



Saturday 4th July : Round One
10.00 Sarah de Nutte (5) bt Leonie Berger 11-6, 11-6, 11-1
10.30 Wan Yuan (6) bt Naomi Panjkovic 11-4, 11-2, 12-10
11.00 Barbora Balazova (4) bt Annett Kaufmann 11-8, 11-6, 11-5
11.30 Chantal Mantz (7) bt Anastasia Bondareva 11-6, 11-6, 11-1
12.00 Sophia Klee bt Yuki Tsutsui (8) 8-11, 12-10, 6-11, 11-8, 11-7
12.30 Shan Xiaona (3) bt Jele Stortz 11-5, 11-5, 11-3

Saturday 4th July: Quarter-Finals
13.00 Han Ying (1) bt Chantal Mantz (7) 11-7, 11-4, 11-7
13.35 Sophia Klee bt Nina Mittelham (2) 11-8, 8-11, 14-12, 9-11, 11-5

Sunday 5th July: Quarter-Finals
10.00 Shan Xiaona (3) bt Sarah de Nutte (5) 11-6, 12-10, 11-3
10.35 Wan Yuan (6) bt Barbora Balazova (4) 12-10, 4-11, 11-9, 8-11, 14-12

Sunday 5th July: Semi-Finals
11.35 Han Ying (1) v Shan Xiaona (3) 11-8, 11-5, 12-10
12.10 Sophia Klee v Wan Yuan (6) 14-12, 13-11, 11-8

Sunday 5th July: Final
13.45 Han Ying (1) bt Sophia Klee 11-2, 8-11, 11-3, 11-7

Numbers in brackets indicate seeding; times are the earliest the match was played

General News Han Ying Sophia Klee