SEAMASTER 2019 ITTF WORLD TOUR PLATINUM AUSTRALIAN OPEN
Friday 12th July
Shock defeats for Fan Zhendong and Chen Meng
A session of play to remember in Geelong, both contests starting in the mid-evening on Friday 12th July, China’s Fan Zhendong and Chen Meng, the top seeds in the respective men’s singles and women’s singles events at the Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour Platinum Australian Open, both experienced shock defeats.
Fan Zhendong suffered at the hands of Germany’s Patrick Franziska, the no.15 seed (8-11, 7-11, 11-4, 11-9, 11-4, 11-7); Chen Meng was beaten by Japan’s Kasumi Ishikawa, the no.6 seed (6-11, 6-11, 13-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-5).
Defeat for Fan Zhendong but China is guaranteed a place in the men’s singles final; in the lower half of the draw, Liang Jingkun, Lin Gaoyuan, Ma Long and Wang Chuqin all booked quarter-final places. Xu Xin is alone in the top half of the draw.
In the lower half of the draw Wang Chuqin emerged the only qualifier to reserve a quarter-final place; he overcame England’s Liam Pitchford, the no.14 seed (11-8, 11-9, 11-1, 11-8). Similarly, Liang Jingkun, the no.6 seed, used his power to good effect to end the hopes of Denmark’s Jonathan Groth (11-5, 11-3, 9-11, 11-7, 11-3), as did Ma Long, the no.5 seed, when facing Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov, the no.11 seed (11-7, 15-13, 11-7, 11-9).
Imposing performances, for Lin Gaoyuan life was more testing. The no.2 seed, eventually he overcame Korea Republic’s Lee Sangsu, the no.10 seed (11-9, 11-4, 6-11, 8-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-5).
Lin Gaoyuan now meets Ma Long; Wang Chuqin opposes Liang Jingkun.
The end of European hopes in the lower half of the draw, not in the top half; in addition to Patrick Franziska, Sweden’s Mattias Falck booked his semi-final place. He accounted for Korea Republic’s Jang Woojin (6-11, 14-12, 4-11, 12-10, 11-6, 5-11, 11-8). Conversely for Portugal’s Marcos Freitas, it was defeat; he was beaten by Brazil’s Hugo Calderano, the no.7 seed Marcos Freitas (11-9, 13-11, 11-9, 12-14, 9-11, 11-8).
Xu Xin, the no.3 seed, who overcame Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yun-Ju (12-10, 11-3, 11-8, 11-6) awaits Hugo Calderano; Patrick Franziska faces Mattias Falck.
Meanwhile, in the women’s singles event, despite the demise of Chen Meng, China is represented in force. Sun Yingsha beat fellow qualifiers Japan’s Shiho Matsudaira (11-2, 11-2, 11-6, 11-5) and colleague Sun Mingyang (11-5, 11-8, 11-7, 6-11, 11-6) to reach the penultimate round. Likewise, Ding Ning, the no.3 seed, progressed in some style. She accounted for Korea Republic’s Choi Hyojoo (11-7, 11-7, 11-9, 11-3) and colleague Zhang Qiang (12-10, 11-7, 11-13, 11-8, 13-11) to reach the last four.
In the penultimate round it is China versus Japan; Sun Yingsha faces Kasumi Ishikawa, Ding Ning meets Mima Ito, the no.7 seed, the quarter-final winner in opposition to China’s Li Jiayi (9-11, 11-9, 16-14, 9-11, 11-8, 11-5).
Meanwhile, in the men’s doubles there were more travails for Fan Zhendong. Partnering Xu Xin, the no.7 seeds, they experienced a semi-final defeat at the hands Lin Gaoyuan and Ma Long, the no.5 seeds (11-8, 9-11, 11-8, 11-5). In the final, they meet Korea Republic’s Jeoung Youngsik and Lee Sangsu, the top seeds. They reserved their place following success against Indian qualifiers, Amalraj Anthony and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran (14-12, 11-9, 11-8).
Progress for the top seeds, it was the same in the women’s doubles. Chen Meng and Wang Manyu recorded a penultimate round success against Japan’s Miyuu Kihara and Miyu Nagasaki (11-7, 11-5, 11-9). At the final hurdle they confront Korea Republic’s Jeon Jihee and Yang Haeun, the no.2 seeds. They progressed courtesy of success against colleagues Jeon Jihee and Lee Eunhye (11-9, 11-5, 11-8).
Japanese hopes quelled in the women’s doubles, not in the mixed. In the final Jun Mizutani and Mima Ito face Hong Kong’s Wong Chun Ting and Doo Hoi Kem, the no.2 seeds.
At the semi-final stage Jun Mizutani and Mima Ito beat Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yun-Ju and Cheng I-Ching, the no.3 seeds (11-3, 11-8, 11-9); Hong Kong’s Wong Chun Ting and Doo Hoi Kem, the no.2 seeds, accounted for Lee Sangsu and Jeon Jihee, the no.4 seeds (11-9, 11-8, 11-7).
On Saturday 13th July, the penultimate day of action, the women’s singles semi-finals and men’s singles quarter-finals in addition to the finals of the men’s doubles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles events will be played.
Photo Credit: ITTF
Editor: Ian Marshall