RESULT: Bernadette Szocs 4-3 Dina Meshref (8-11, 11-5, 11-8, 10-12, 11-6, 10-12, 11-5)
What a way to conclude the first day of an amazing #RESTART to table tennis! Bernadette Szocs has managed to prevail in a thunderous match against Dina Meshref, after seven games of the highest quality.
In a match lasting just over 50 minutes, the Romanian super star managed to hang on to her momentum despite the amazing recovery of Meshref in game six, winning the decider to assure herself of a place in the round of 16 once again.
Dina Meshref has just shown us why she’s playing her eighth Women’s World Cup! What a recovery in the sixth game against Bernadette Szocs from the African Cup winner, wow!
After being down 2-3 overall and 1-7 against the Romanian superstar, Meshref upped the ante and took the battle to the next level with a string of forehand winners – propelling her to a 12-10 win and taking this to a decider!
Nothing can separate Dina Meshref and Bernadette Szocs at the table right no. It is level pegging in more than just the score, which reads 2-2 (8-11, 11-5, 11-8, 10-12) after Szocs won the third and Meshref took the fourth.
The momentum keeps shifting with each point, as does the number of points won on the opponent’s serve. The Romanian has won 18 points off her opponent while the Egyptian has taken 17 – can this get any tighter?!
Bernadette Szocs and Dina Meshref have made a balanced start in the last game for Day 1 here in Weihai. Both Szocs and Meshref need a victory to reach the round of 16.
Meshref took the lead with a 11-8 win before Szocs levelled the playing field with a 11-5 win. Who will blink first in this race to the knockouts?
RESULT: Chen Szu-Yu 4-3 Wu Yue (11-9, 9-11, 12-10, 9-11, 11-8, 7-11, 13-11)
Well if there was one thriller before, we just had another one! Chen Szu-Yu and Wu Yue played out a seven-game nail-biter as the Chinese Taipei athlete found the chink her American opponent’s armour after nearly an hour of play.
Despite being in the lead, it took a full stretch 4-3 (11-5, 3-11, 11-4, 11-4, 9-11, 9-11, 13-11) match for Chen to secure top spot in her group and prevent Wu Yue from making a comeback that looked very much on.
RESULT: Lily Zhang 4-3 Zhang Mo (11-9, 9-11, 12-10, 9-11, 11-8, 7-11, 13-11)
WHAT A FINALE! Lily Zhang and Zhang Mo have really given their fans a treat of a final group 2 match here in Weihai! After finishing level at three games apiece, both North American athletes were engaged in a thriller seventh game to decide the winner of the tie, and the final group qualifying position. In the end, it was Lily Zhang who managed to usurp the challenge Zhang Mo, winning the final game 13-11 having been down 9-10 at one point!
Leads come, leads go
Groups 2 & 3
There seems to be no time to breathe here as Zhang Mo and Lily Zhang are going end-to-end. With the score 2-2 (11-9, 9-11, 12-10, 9-11) at the end of 31 minutes, it will take something special from either player to not let this go to a decider!
For Chen Szu-Yu at table 1, it is a lead for 3-1 (11-5, 3-11, 11-4, 11-4) against Wu Yue as both women are relentless in their service play. It is a match being played at super speed and the winner here will take a gigantic step over at the round of 16.
Zhang v Zhang: it’s on!
Groups 2 & 3
Lily Zhang and Zhang Mo are going head-to-head, with the two North Americans locked in at 2-1 (11-9, 9-11, 12-10) lead for the USA international. Lily Zhang needs a win to make sure of her place in the round of 16, but it seems even that may not be enough.
Meanwhile in group 3, Chen Szu-Yu won the first game against Wu Yue (11-5). A win will affirm the American’s place in the knockout stages, but her Chinese Taipei opponent will not want to surrender the first spot in the group.
RESULT: Adriana Diaz 4-2 Margaryta Pesotska (11-9, 10-12, 11-9, 9-11, 12-10, 11-8)
It’s almost as if Adriana Diaz heard us! What a sensational turn of events here in Weihai as the Puerto Rican has defeated Margaryta Pesotska 4-2 (11-9, 10-12, 11-9, 9-11, 12-10, 11-8), winning the final two games in style.
Diaz overcame a 4-point deficit in the fifth game before completely controlling the sixth, giving her Ukrainian opponent no chance to return into the match. Not only does that put Diaz on top of Group 2, it means Lily Zhang has the chance to eliminate Pesotska with a win against Zhang Mo!
Han secures victory, Diaz and Pesotska level – again!
Groups 1 & 2
The German international is leaving nothing to chance here in Weihai, cleaning out a 4-0 (11-3, 11-5, 11-7, 11-6) win in under 39 minutes against Britt Eerland. The range of shots showcased by Han have been nothing short of extraordinary today and it means she tops Group 1 as Eerland exits.
However, recovery seems to be no trouble for Adriana Diaz or Margaryta Pesotska as neither of them seems to be able to hold a lead for too long. The match is neck-and-neck with the score 2-2 (11-9, 10-12, 11-9, 9-11) and both athletes taking turns to power their way to winning alternate games.
Han leads, Diaz and Pesotska level
Groups 1 & 2
Han Ying has taken an early lead against Britt Eerland, winning the first two games 11-3, 11-5. Han’s clinical showing are heading the German towards a certain round of 16 finish while Eerland needs to recover in time if she wants the same fate.
Over in group 2, Adriana Diaz and Margaryta Pesotska have taken a game each to kick things off (11-9, 10-12), with the Ukrainian looking to beat back the forceful shots of her young opponent. Will the South American break through the European’s defense?
Hanging in the balance
Groups 1 & 2
It all comes down to this – Germany’s Han Ying and Netherland’s Britt Eerland are facing off in the final Group 1 match to decide who joins Jeon Jihee in the round of 16.
Meanwhile Adriana Diaz and Margaryta Pesotska take on each other as the Ukrainian bids to secure top spot in Group 2. Who are you backing?
RESULT: Suh Hyowon 4-2 Bernadette Szocs (8-11, 11-3, 11-9, 13-11, 8-11, 11-7)
Well, Bernadette Szocs certainly did have a game up her sleeve but it seems that was to be all as Suh Hyowon secured a fine 4-2 (8-11, 11-3, 11-9, 13-11, 8-11, 11-7) victory in 47 minutes. Winning consecutive points off Szocs service, Hyowon kept the pressure on after losing the fifth game to make sure there was no comeback possible for the Romanian. It now comes down to the match between Szocs and fellow European Dina Meshref to decide the final qualifier from Group 4 after the break.
The Korea Republic international has found her groove it seems – jumping along to a 3-1 (8-11, 11-3, 11-9, 13-11) lead over Bernadette Szocs, Suh Hyowon is keeping things simple. What does Bernie have in her locker that can keep this match alive? As we write this, the Romanian is leading the fifth game 7-3, no 7-4, no 8-5…is there a comeback on the cards??
The final match of the morning has kicked off with a game apiece for Korea Republic’s Suh Hyowon (11-3) and Romania’s Bernadette Szocs (11-8). The European took the lead before her Asian foe brought the score level in a scintillating first 16 minutes. Having won against Dina Meshref earlier, Hyowon will be looking to secure her knockout stage place by seeing off Szocs – but will she?
RESULT: Chen Szu-Yu 4-2 Petrissa Solja (8-11, 11-2, 11-9, 9-11, 11-5, 11-9)
What a match! Petrissa Solja and Chen Szu-Yu have just played out a real thriller at table 1 of the Weihai Nanhai Olympic Sport Centre. Despite taking the lead in this break-neck encounter, the German Solja was unable to prevent the Chinese Taipei athlete from reversing the score – before levelling things up herself! Eventually, Chen came through with some solid play on the counter, taking home a well deserved win – and ending the World Cup campaign for Solja.
RESULT: Margaryta Pesotska 4-1 (11-2, 11-6, 11-13, 16-14, 11-4) Zhang Mo
Margaryta Pesotska achieved her second win of the day in some style, rounding up with a stunning forehand as she defeated Zhang Mo. The Ukraine international was in complete control here, as she takes another step towards the knockout stages, with her Canadian opponent needing a certain win in her next game.
RESULT: Lily Zhang 4-2 Adriana Diaz (11-13, 7-11, 11-9, 11-9, 12-10, 11-5)
Zhang is officially up and running in Group 2 after securing her first win of the day. An early struggle but the USA athlete managed to build up some steam and never looked back. There will be an immediate sense of disappointment for Diaz but her hopes of reaching the Round of 16 haven’t diminished yet.
RESULT: Han Ying 4-0 Jeon Jihee (11-5, 11-8, 11-4, 11-4)
Germany’s Han Ying has just produced a mighty display in her first group outing, cruising past Jeon Jihee in just under 29 minutes! Dominant from start to finish, Han never looked in doubt and will take great confidence from beating a player seeded five positions higher than her.
Back to square one
An update from table 1 for you. Falling two games behind, Zhang produces a much stronger performance in game three to give Diaz something to think about. Leading 9-3 one game later, Zhang looks well on her way to levelling the match but a fine comeback sees Diaz rescue six out of the following seven points to close the gap to 10-9. Zhang holds on to take the game (11-9) but this one could go all the way here!
First strike goes to Diaz
Meeting head-to-head in group action for the second year in a row, Adriana Diaz and Lily Zhang are very familiar with each other’s game and so far there is very little between them. Both players holding game points in the opening game, Diaz saves the first before Zhang returns the favour – in the end it was the Puerto Rican who narrowly made it over the line (13-11), leading 1-0 as a result.
RESULT: Jeon Jihee 4-3 Britt Eerland (7-11, 13-15, 13-11, 13-11, 7-11, 11-9, 11-9)
What a match! Twists and turns at every corner, Eerland deserves huge plaudits for her showing in a dramatic contest and held a narrow lead at the halfway point of the deciding game. But, it wasn’t to be for the Dutch star as Jeon held her nerve to edge out a 4-3 victory.
RESULT: Suh Hyowon 4-1 Dina Meshref (5-11, 11-3, 11-6, 13-11, 13-11)
Not the start she would have been hoping for but Suh recovers to register her first win on the board in Weihai. A noteworthy performance from Meshref which will encourage her heading into her second group fixture later today.
Group favourite responds but not out of the woods yet
Taking time to find her footing, Jeon is starting to show signs of improvement in her meeting with Eerland as the Korean takes games three and four, but only by the narrowest of margins (13-11, 13-11). However, Jeon, the highest seeded player in group action, isn’t level for long with Eerland moving ahead yet again after enjoying the better showing of the two in game five (11-7).
Positive opening from Egyptian
The sole African representative here at the Women’s World Cup, Egypt’s Dina Meshref is holding her own against Korean defender Suh Hyowon and actually enjoys the brighter start of the two. A top draw display in game one (11-5) hands Meshref an early lead, but credit goes to Suh for pulling off an immediate response in game two (11-3). All square at one game apiece here.
RESULT: Wu Yue 4-3 Petrissa Solja (11-5, 11-4, 11-7, 9-11, 8-11, 3-11, 11-9)
We have our first major upset of the Dishang 2020 ITTF Women’s World Cup here on day one with Wu Yue upstaging Petrissa Solja in a seven-game thriller. Despite dropping three games on the bounce, Wu never looked in doubt in game seven and didn’t pass up the opportunity when match point came her way. It has finished 4-3 to the United States’ competitor.
Britt Eerland causing a stir
Dutch fans will be feeling very excited right now with their player Britt Eerland looking excellent in the opening stages of her tie with Korea Republic’s Jeon Jihee. Two games played, two games won by the European (11-7, 15-13) – how will this one pan out?
With game three also going in Wu’s direction (11-7), there is no more room for error for Solja. The German ups the ante and suddenly begins to see things going in her favour, prevailing in games four and five (11-9, 11-8) to pull herself back into the match.
Wu Yue off to incredible start!
What a potential story we have developing here with United States’ Wu Yue, seeded 18th, currently leading German no.11 seed and 2015 ITTF Women’s World Cup bronze medallist Petrissa Solja 2-0 (11-5, 11-4)!
RESULT: Margaryta Pesotska 4-2 Lily Zhang (15-13, 11-6, 11-5, 7-11, 3-11, 12-10)
Another result to confirm here in Group 2 with Pesotska earning a commendable 4-2 victory over Zhang. Trailing 8-10 and staring at two game point opportunities for her US counterpart, Pesotska refuses to let another ball past her and four points later it is the Ukraine player who claims the win.
Lifeline for US star
Talk about a shift in momentum! Lily Zhang appears to be finding her rhythm now, achieving a higher success rate with her attempts. A strong outing in game four keeping the tie alive (11-7), Zhang performs better still in the following game, racing into a 9-0 lead. The game eventually concludes in Zhang’s favour by an eight point margin (11-3) to reduce the overall deficit from three to just one.
RESULT: Adriana Diaz 4-1 Zhang Mo (11-5, 7-11, 11-2, 11-9, 12-10)
Diaz is the first player to strike victory in Weihai, needing just the five games to see off fellow Pan American Zhang. The result also marks Diaz’s first win at the ITTF Women’s World Cup!
Narrow margins on table 2
Adriana Diaz and Zhang Mo are keeping one another honest on table 2 with very little separating the two. Off to the slower start, Zhang bounces back with a successful outing in game two (11-7) but back-to-back game wins for Diaz (11-2, 11-9) sees the Puerto Rican start to assert some authority over her opponent.
An update from table 1 and the pressure is really beginning to mount on the shoulders of Lily Zhang here with Margaryta Pesotska going from strength to strength. It’s now 3-0 to the European player (15-13, 11-6, 11-5).
Marathon game marks return
What a tense, yet exciting start to the action here in Weihai with Lily Zhang and Margaryta Pesotska’s opening game going right down to the wire. Down 7-3, Zhang begins to grow into the contest and goes on to reverse fortunes with two game point opportunities. Pesotska narrowly holds on (15-13) to move ahead.
On table 2 it’s Adriana Diaz who establishes the early advantage over Zhang Mo (11-5).
And we’re underway in Weihai
Here we go, after months away, international table tennis is back! The first contests of the day sees United States’ Lily Zhang and Ukraine’s Margaryta Pesotska meet on table 1, while Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz and Canada’s Zhang Mo do battle over on table 2.
What’s coming your way?
All four groups will be decided on day one with the top two players from each group extending their stay in the race. Here’s a look ahead to the day’s fixture line-up:
It’s time to #RESTART!
Good morning and welcome to day one of the Dishang 2020 ITTF Women’s World Cup and with it the start of the #RESTART series.
Today’s action sees 13 of the 21 players in Weihai contest the group phase of the event with eight positions in the Round of 16 on the line. You can read up on the draw here.