SEAMASTER 2019 ITTF WORLD TOUR SHINAN KOREA OPEN
Friday 5th July 2019
Ma Long escapes
Olympic and world champion, China’s Ma Long escaped from the precipice of defeat in the second round of the men’s singles event at the Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour Shinan Korea Open in Busan on Friday 5th July.
He saved one match point in the deciding seventh game against the host nation’s Lim Jonghoon, before emerging successful (11-5, 11-9, 7-11, 11-5, 13-11, 9-11, 14-12).
Success for Ma Long, the no.4 seed, it was the same from the top three names. Colleagues, Fan Zhendong and Xu Xin advanced in some style. Fan Zhendong beat Spain’s Alvaro Robles (11-2, 11-9, 11-6, 11-9); Xu Xin ended the hopes of Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna, the no.15 seed (11-3, 8-11, 11-5, 11-2, 11-5). Likewise, there was progress for Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto, the no.3 seed; in a hard fought encounter he overcame Hong Kong’s Wong Chun Ting, the no.12 seed (8-11, 18-16, 11-8, 16-18, 15-13, 11-7).
However for Mattias Falck, the no.8 seed and runner up at the recent Liebherr 2019 World Championships, there was defeat. He was beaten by Swedish colleague, Kristian Karlsson (7-11, 11-7, 10-12, 11-7, 11-9, 11-8). Similarly, it was defeat for the defending champion, Korea Republic’s Jang Woojin, the no.6 seed, he suffered against colleague Jeoung Youngsik, the no.13 seed (11-8, 12-10, 11-4, 11-4).
Impressive from Jeoung Youngsik, it was the same from China’s Wang Chuqin and Liang Jingkun both booked quarter-final places. Required to qualify, Wang Chuqin accounted for Portugal’s Marcos Freitas (11-2, 11-6, 11-5, 10-12, 11-5); Liang Jingkun, the no.5 seed, ousted Korea Republic’s Cho Seungmin (8-11, 18-16, 11-8, 16-18, 15-13, 11-7).
Meanwhile, in the women’s singles, Sun Yingsha and the host nation’s Jeon Jihee caused the second round upsets. Jeon Jihee, the no.15 seed, beat Chinese Taipei’s Cheng I-Ching, the no.8 seed (11-5, 11-7, 6-11, 11-9, 11-8); Sun Yingsha, the no.16 seed, repeated the success of the previous month in Japan; she accounted for Chinese national team colleague and reigning world champion, Liu Shiwen, the no.4 seed (11-9, 10-12, 11-9, 11-7, 9-11, 11-6).
Otherwise it was progress as status suggested. Reigning champion, China’s Zhu Yuling, the no.5 seed, kept her hopes of a successful defence alive. She beat Hong Kong’s Doo Hoi Kem, the no.11 seed (11-4, 11-4, 11-7, 11-3). Likewise, her colleagues advanced. Ding Ning beat Singapore’s Feng Tianwei, the no.12 seed (11-4, 9-11, 11-4, 11-9, 11-5), Chen Meng accounted for Japan’s Miu Hirano, the no.9 seed (11-5, 11-3, 11-7, 7-11, 4-11, 11-8). In a similar vein, Wang Manyu, also from China, ended the brave run of the one qualifier to advance to round two. She beat Japan’s Miyu Nagasaki (9-11, 13-11, 10-12, 11-9, 11-4, 11-6).
Disappointment for China but by definition there was success. Kasumi Ishikawa and Mima Ito prevailed in the all Japanese duels. Kasumi Ishikawa, the no.6 seed, beat Saki Shibata, the no.13 seed (11-6, 8-11, 11-3, 11-6, 11-5); Mima Ito, the no.7 seed, overcame the defensive skills of Hitomi Sato, the no.14 seed (11-8, 11-6, 11-5, 11-6).
Problems for Jang Woojin in the men’s singles, partnering Lim Jonghoon, the no.3 seeds and defending champions, the problems were even greater. A toe injury forcing Jang Woojin to retire prior to the semi-final clash; Jeoung Youngsik and Lee Sangsu, the top seeds, received a walk-over.
In the final they meet China’s Fan Zhendong and Xu Xin, the no.6 seeds. In the penultimate round, they overcame Japan’s Masataka Morizono and Maharu Yoshimura, the no.4 seeds (12-14, 11-9, 14-12, 11-6).
A place for the host nation in the men’s doubles final; it is the same on the women’s doubles. Choi Hyojoo and Yang Haeun, the no.6 seeds, face Chen Meng and Wang Manyu, the top seeds. At the semi-final stage, Choi Hyojoo and Yang Haeun beat colleagues Jeon Jihee and Lee Zion, the no.4 seeds (7-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-7); Chen Meng and Wang Manyu overcame Ding Ning and Liu Shiwen, the no.8 seeds, (14-16, 11-8, 11-6, 9-11, 12-10) to reserve their place in the final.
Final places secured for the top seeds in each of the men’s doubles and women’s doubles events; it is the same in the mixed doubles. Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen, the top seeds meet Wong Chun Ting and Doo Hoi Kem, the no.2 seeds to determine the title. In the penultimate round Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen beat Japan’s Jun Mizutani and Mima Ito (8-11, 11-4, 13-11, 11-8); Wong Chun Ting and Doo Hoi Kem accounted for Hong Kong colleagues, Ho Kwan Kit and Lee Ho Ching, the no.7 seeds (11-8, 11-9, 11-7).
The finals of the men’s doubles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles events alongside the quarter-finals of the men’s singles and women’s singles competitions will be played.
By Ian Marshall, Editor
Photo Credit: ITTF