2015 World Team Cup
Dubai – Thursday 8th January
Leading Men Unbeaten but Fourth Seeded Women Experience Defeat
The top four seeds in the Men’s Team event at the 2015 World Team Cup in Dubai, all concluded the opening day of play, Thursday 8th January, unbeaten and thus in first places in their respective groups.
China, Germany and Japan completed the day without the loss of a single individual match and thus booked quarter-final places. Only Korea, the fourth seeds, experienced any difficulties.
After posting a three matches to nil success over the Canadian trio of Pierre-Luc Theriault, Marko Medjugorac and Antoine Bernadet in their opening fixture; the outfit comprising Kim Minseok, Jeong Sangeun and Kim Donghyun found Portugal, the reigning European champions, stiff opposition, even though Marcos Freitas was not included in the European selection.
Korea posted a three-one win with Tiago Apolonia, the player to cause Asian outfit food for thought. After João Monteiro had suffered defeat at the hands of Kim Minseok, Tiago Apolonia accounted for Jeong Sangeun.
Success for Portugal but there was to be no more; Kim Donghyun and Jeong Sangeun combined to beat Tiago Apolonia and João Geraldo, before Kim Donghyun ended matters by overcoming João Monteiro.
Two wins for the top four Men’s outfits, it was not the scenario for the Women; there was a casualty.
Hong Kong, the fourth seeds, who had beaten Egypt in their opening contest by three matches to nil, suffered a three matches to one defeat against DPR Korea. Ri Myong Sun was very much the architect of the victory.
She accounted for both Lee Ho Ching and Jiang Huajun. The one further success for the victors came in the doubles with Kim Hye Song partnering Ri Mi Gyong to victory over Doo Hoi Kem and Jiang Huajun. The one success for Hong Kong was recorded in the first match of the fixture. Doo Hoi Kem overcame Kim Hye Song in five games.
Defeat for the fourth seeds as matters progressed in the group stage of proceedings in the Women’s event; there were also close calls for Japan, the second seeds and Singapore, the third seeds.
Both recorded three-two wins against European opposition, the former against Romania, the latter in opposition to Germany.
Mainstay of the Japanese victory was Sayaka Hirano; she beat Bernadette Szocs in three straight games in the second match of the fixture, before returning immediately to the fray to partner Misaki Morizono to doubles success against Camelia Postoaca and Bernadette Szocs.
The one further win for Japan was recorded in the vital fifth and deciding match of the fixture; Yuka Ishigaki overcame Camelia Postoaca in three straight games.
The wins for Romania both came from Elizabeta Samara. She overcame both Yuka Ishigaki and Misaki Morizono.
A close call for Japan, it was the same for Singapore, the third seeds. They had to withstand a spirited recovery by the German outfit comprising Irene Ivancan, Kristin Silbereisen and Sabine Winter.
The Singaporeans made the best possible start. Yu Mengyu beat Irene Ivancan to be followed by Feng Tianwei who overcame Kristin Silbereisen. It was at that stage the German recovery began. Kristin Silbereisen and Sabine Winter combined to beat Isabelle Siyun Li and Yu Mengyu, before Irene Ivancan levelled matters by overcoming Isabelle Siyun Li.
Parity gained but that was the end of German success; Feng Tianwei overcame Sabine Winter to secure a Singaporean victory and like Japan first place in the group.
Defeat for the fourth seeds in the Women’s event, close wins for the second and third seeds but for the top seeds, there were no difficulties whatsoever.
China beat Australia by three matches to nil.
Play in the group stage of both the Men’s and Women’s events conclude on the morning of Friday 9th January; teams finishing in first and second places in each of the four groups advance to the quarter-finals.