04 Oct 2021

Surprise semi-finalists; at the close of play on Sunday 3rd October, not one of the top four names appeared in the penultimate round in the women’s singles event at the 2021 ITTF-ATTU Asian Championships in Doha.

Japan’s Minami Ando, Saki Shibata and Hina Hayata upset the order of merit, Korea Republic’s Shin Yubin continued her winning ways.

by Ian Marshall

At the quarter-final stage of proceedings, Minami Ando and Saki Shibata caused Korea Republic heartaches. Minami Ando beat Jeon Jihee, the top seed (11-3, 9-11, 7-11, 11-8, 12-10), Saki Shibata, the no.8 seed, accounted for Suh Hyowon, the no.4 seed (11-8, 15-13, 14-12).

Similarly, Hina Hayata, the no.6 seed, ended the hopes of Hong Kong’s Doo Hoi Kem, the no.2 seed (11-7, 11-7, 11-7); Shin Yubin overcame Hong Kong’s Zhu Chengzhu (11-9, 11-8, 8-11, 6-11, 11-3), likewise a player not seeded.

However, the win could well be considered an upset; they had met on four prior occasions on the international stage, Zhu Chengzhu had won all four meetings.

Minami Ando now meets Shin Yubin, Saki Shibata faces Hina Hayata.

One interloper

Meanwhile, in the men’s singles semi-finals there is just one interloper.

Japan’s Shunsuke Togami, who the previous day had ousted Hong Kong’s Wong Chun Ting, the no.2 seed (11-7, 11-8, 15-13), reserved his semi-final place courtesy of success in opposition to colleague Hiroto Shinozuke (11-7, 11-9, 9-11, 5-11, 11-7).

In the penultimate round, Shunsuke Togami faces Korea Republic’s Lee Sangsu, the no.3 seed and quarter-final winner against India’s Sharath Kamal Achanta, the no.5 seed (11-8, 11-8, 11-9).

Meanwhile, in the opposite half of the draw, Jang Woojin, the top seed and like Lee Sangsu from Korea Republic, opposes Chinese Taipei’s Chuang Chih-Yuan, the no.4 seed.

Most comprehensive performances, at the quarter-final stage both Lee Sangsu and Chuang Chih-Yuan ended Japanese aspirations. Jang Woojin beat Kazuhiro Yoshimura (11-4, 11-4, 11-4); Chuang Chih-Yuan ended the hopes of Yuto Kizukuri (11-9, 11-4, 11-5).

India in evidence

Notably, in the men’s doubles, India is very much in evidence.

Imposingly, at the quarter-final stage Harmeet Desai and Manav Vikash Thakkar, the no.6 seeds, caused a major upset by overcoming Iran’s Nima Alamian and Noshad Alamian, the top seeds (12-10, 11-5, 11-6); in a similar manner, Sharath Kamal Achanta and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, the no.7 seeds, ended the progress of Singapore’s Clarence Chew and Beh Kun Ting (11-9, 11-7, 12-10).

Harmeet Desai and Manav Vikash Thakkar now meet Korea Republic’s Jang Woojin  and Lim Jonghoon, the no.5 seeds; Sharath Kamal Achanta and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran oppose Japan’s Shunsuke Togami and Yukiya Uda, the no.2 seeds.

Hong Kong emerged on the receiving end; Jang Woojin  and Lim Jonghoon beat Ho Kwan Kit and Wong Chun Ting, the no.4 seeds (11-9, 11-7, 8-11, 11-5) to reserve their semi-final place; in the opposite half of the draw, Shunsuke Togami and Yukiya Uda overcame Lam Siu Hang and Ng Pak Nam (11-4, 9-11, 11-5, 11-2).

Success for Hong Kong

Disappointment for Hong Kong, at the quarter-final sage of the women’s doubles there was success.

Doo Hoi Kem and Lee Ho Ching, the no.5 seeds, beat Japan’s Hitomi Sato and Saki Shibata, the no.4 seeds (12-10, 4-11, 11-3, 4-11, 12-10) and now meet Chinese Taipei’s Cheng Hsien-Tzu and Liu Hsing-Yin, the no.2 seeds.

They reserved their semi-final place by overcoming Singapore’s Lin Ye and Wong Xin Ru, the no.8 seeds (11-6, 8-11, 11-7, 11-8).

Meanwhile, in the opposite half of the draw Jeon Jihee and Shin Yubin, the top seeds, meet Minami Ando and Japanese colleague, Miyu Nagasaki, the no.6 seeds.

Contrasting performances, Jeon Jihee and Shin Yubin beat Hong Kong’s Ng Wing Nam and Zhu Chengzhu, the no.7 seeds in straight games to reserve their penultimate round place (11-2, 11-5, 11-5). Conversely, Minami Ando and Miyu Nagasaki needed the full five games to halt the aspirations of India’a Ayikha Mukherjee and Sutirtha Mukherjee (11-4, 11-5, 4-11, 7-11, 11-8).

Play concludes in Doha on Tuesday 5th October



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