Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour Platinum Lion Japan Open
Wednesday 12th June
Successful starts for top names, not best of days for hosts
The top names in both the men’s singles and women’s singles events at the qualification tournament to reserve places in the Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour Platinum Lion Japan Open in Sapporo emerged successful on Wednesday 12th June.
In the men’s singles event, Japan’s Yuya Oshima prevailed in his opening round contest beating Slovakia’s Alexander Valuch (11-5, 11-9, 11-13, 11-4, 11-3), likewise India’s Sathiyan Gnanasekaran overcame Chinese Taipei’s Wang Tai-Wei (9-11, 11-8, 13-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-8).
Likewise, in the counterpart women’s singles event there was success for China’s Sun Yingsha, the 2017 champion; in her one match of the day she accounted for the host nation’s Shiho Matsudaira (11-4, 11-7, 8-11, 11-6, 11-4). A relatively comfortable success for Sun Yingsha, for her colleague, He Zhuojia, the second highest rated player on duty, it was also success but it was also very nearly catastrophe. She needed the full seven games to beat Japan’s 14 year old Haruna Ojio, only emerging successful by the very minimal margin in the decider (5-11, 11-3, 11-8, 11-9, 8-11, 9-11, 11-9).
Success for Yuya Oshima but for other prominent Japanese names there were second round qualification stage defeats. In the men’s singles event Jin Ueda was beaten by Korea Republic’s Kang Dongsoo (11-8, 11-7, 11-7, 6-11, 6-11, 11-8); Maharu Yoshimura lost to China’s Sun Wen (11-8, 11-8, 11-7, 8-11, 10-12, 11-9). Similarly, Masataka Morizono was beaten by colleague, Masaki Yoshida, listed at no.117 (11-3, 11-8, 11-3, 11-5, 11-9).
Likewise in the second round of the women’s singles qualification event there were surprise defeats for the host nation’s Miyu Kato and Honoko Hashimoto. Miyu Kato, quarter-finalist at the recent Liebherr 2019 World Championships lost to Chinese Taipei’s Liu Hsing-Yin (9-11, 11-3, 11-9, 11-9, 9-11, 11-9); Honoka Hashimoto suffered at the hands of Korea Republic’s Ji Eunchae (12-14, 15-13, 11-2, 10-12, 11-3, 9-11, 13-11).
Notable performances to oust prominent Japanese names; there were more such efforts to attract the attention. In the second round of men’s singles qualification, China’s Zhao Zihao was very much the player to impress; he accounted for India’s Sharath Kamal Achanta (11-6, 11-6, 11-6, 11-5). Also, Yan An won the all second round all Chinese duel; he beat Wang Chuqin, the Buenos Aires Youth Olympic Games gold medallist (10-12, 11-8, 11-9, 11-7, 8-11, 11-9).
Meanwhile in the same round of the women’s singles event Che Xiaoxi underlined the depth in Chinese talent; she caused a second round surprise, she beat Chinese Taipei’s Chen Szu-Yu, listed at no.24 (7-11, 12-10, 11-5, 11-6, 11-6). In a similar vein, winner just three days ago at the Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour Hang Seng Hong Kong Open, Wang Yidi maintained her good form; in her opening contest she ousted India’s Madhurika Patkar (11-7, 11-6, 11-5, 10-12, 11-9).
Play in the qualification tournament concludes on Thursday 13th June.
By Ian Marshall, Editor
Photo Credit: ITTF