Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour, Hang Seng Hong Kong Open
Saturday 8th June
Impressive journey continues, Wang Yidi reaches final
Runner up just under one year ago in Bulgaria, China’s Wang Yidi emerged the surprise name to reach the women’s singles final at the Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour Hang Seng Hong Kong Open, following success on Saturday 8th June.
Required to qualify, at the quarter-final stage she beat Japan’s Saki Shibata, the no.8 seed (11-6, 15-13, 5-11, 10-12, 11-4, 11-7), prior to overcoming Chinese Taipei’s Cheng I-Ching, the no.3 seed (11-7, 12-10, 11-7, 11-8) to book her place in the title decider.
Awaiting in the final is Japan’s Mima Ito, the no.2 seed; she reserved her place in the title decider courtesy of success against Austria’s Sofia Polcanova, the no.14 seed (11-8, 9-11, 12-10, 14-12, 13-11) and colleague Miu Hirano, the no.4 seed (18-16, 12-10, 11-6, 9-11, 6-11, 11-7).
China versus Japan in the women’s singles final, it is the same in the men’s singles competition; the difference being no surprises, Lin Gaoyuan, the top seed, confronts Tomokazu Harimoto, the no.2 seed.
Lin Gaoyuan beat colleagues Wang Chuqin (10-12, 6-11, 11-9, 11-7, 12-10, 11-7) and Liang Jingkun, the no.3 seed (8-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-8, 11-6) to book his place and final and thus maintained his quite outstanding run of form. Commencing with the Grand Finals in December 2018, taking into account the ITTF World Tour and ITTF Challenge Series, it is his sixth consecutive men’s singles final. He was the winner in Hungary, the runner up at the Grand Finals as well as in Portugal, Qatar and China.
Impressive from Lin Gaoyuan, it was the same in the opposite half of the draw from Tomokazu Harimoto. The Japanese teenager beat colleague, Jun Mizutani, the no.9 seed (13-11, 10-12, 11-4, 11-7, 11-9), followed by success in opposition to Chinese qualifier, Zhou Yu (11-8, 5-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-8), the surprise quarter-final winner in opposition to Germany’s Timo Boll, the no.4 seed (11-9, 11-9, 9-11, 9-11, 5-11, 11-9, 11-6).
Meanwhile in the mixed doubles event, at the final hurdle Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yu-Ju and Cheng I-Ching, the no.5 seeds, beat Korea Republic’s Lee Sangsu and Choi Hyojoo, the no.6 seeds (11-8, 11-3, 11-7). Success for Lin Yu-Ju and Cheng I-Ching means they collect their third such title of the year; in March they succeeded at the Seamaster 2019 ITTF Challenge Plus Oman Open, seven days ago at the Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour Platinum China Open.
By Ian Marshall, Editor