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
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
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
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.
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