Japan’s Mima Ito and Jun Mizutani saved seven match points in an absorbing Mixed Doubles quarter-final clash with Germany’s Patrick Franziska and Petrissa Solja to prevail 4-3 in a seven-game thriller on Sunday.
The second-seeded Japanese demonstrated their ability to dig deep for the big occasion as they surmounted a late comeback in the deciding game to break the hearts of the seventh-seed Germans. The seventh game resulted in a final score of 16-14 with the winning match ending as 4-3 (11-8, 5-11, 3-11, 11-3, 9-11, 11-8, 16-14) to Ito and Mizutani.
“We’ve performed the best match for all the people who have been watching us. We didn’t think the match was going to be this hard, but we also did not think it was going to be easy. But nevertheless, we were prepared,” said Mizutani.
The Japanese duo faced a mammoth task, falling seven points behind the Germans at one stage in the decider. But they showed great resilience by battling tooth and nail for every point before eventually breaking down after clinching the winning point.
“I cried because I was so happy. We are still going to be in the Mixed Doubles competition and we still have a medal chance,” said Ito.
“We knew we were a lot behind but we never gave up and we really told ourselves we can still win the match,” said Mizutani.
For the heartbroken Germans, it was a match they would rather forget.
“We had our chances but just could not take it,” said Solja.
“I cannot describe in words how we feel. We had the chance to beat them and go into the semi-final but we just could not do it,” said a visibly disappointed Franziska.
Ito and Jun are set to face Lin Yun-Ju and Cheng I-Ching of Chinese Taipei in the Mixed Doubles semi-final later this evening.
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Results: ITTF.com and Worldtabletennis.com
Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games media notes are available here: