2015 America's Team Championships Day 2
Site Products

2018 Asian Cup: A Day 1 Quake in Yokahama

(By Steve Hopkins/Photo by ITTF)
2018 Asian Cup: A Day 1 Quake in Yokahama

The first day of the 2018 Asian Cup included a real shake-up of the top seeds.  Actually, with the top two seeds losing on the first day, labeling this as a “shake” is an understatement — When you are in Yokahama and your rising 14 year old Japanese star upsets the No.1 player in the world, you have a full-blown earthquake on your hands.

The Asian Cup is comprised of three championships round robins, with the top two advancing from each.  The top two seeds in the tournament were the two entries from China: World No. 1 Fan Zhendong and World No. 5 Lin Gaoyuan.  Both top seeds were upset in the first stage round robin.
Tomakazu Harimoto stole the show on the first day with his upset of Fan Zhendong (3-1).  Harimoto, the 14 year old phenom from host country Japan, entered the event as the sixth seed. When the two last met in the World Cup, the had great rallies and close games, but Fan won in straight sets (3-0).  That was not the case today – as two were evenly matched throughout, but Harimoto closed out the tight games.  As has become the signature of Harimoto, his backhand dominated the points.  Both players used the backhand flip aggressively – often moving into the forehand side of the table, but Harimoto’s backhand side in rallies continues to be aggressive (often striking the ball very close to the table and hitting hard balls and flat trajectories deep into the corners). This strategy was effective both down the line (staying wide to the forehand corner) and crosscourt (playing wide balls that forced Fan away from the table).  Harimoto is always an emotional player, but in this venue with all of the Japanese fans, he was even more animated.  The first game went to Harimoto, the second to Fan, and the final two games to Harimoto (-8, 8, -9, -8).
The second group had a similar result with Korea’s Sangsu Lee defeating China’s Gaoyuan Lin.  Lee took the first game close, but then dominated thereafter winning in straight games (-8, -5, -5).
Fortunately for Team China – neither Fan nor Lin have been eliminated.  Both would have been rewarded with a bye had they won their division – now the road to the Final is a little tougher.
Tomorrow in Round 2, Fan Zhendong (China) will face Noki Niwa (Japan) and Lin Gaoyuan (China) will face Chun Ting Wong (Hong Kong).  And Harimoto will face Jeong (Korea) and Sangsu Lee plays Nima Alamian (Iran).   Both the Quarterfinals and the Semifinals will be played on Saturday.  The Finals will be Sunday.
The Asian Cup has started off with a quake – We’ll be watching the rest of the weekend to see if there are any aftershocks.
Check in at ButterflyOnline for updates as the action unfolds.

Latest News

WAB CLUB FEATURE: New York Indoor Sports Club

July 3, 2022
(by Steve Hopkins) With their club location in College Point, just off of the 678/Whitestone Expressway, the New York… Read More

2022 US National Team Trials

July 3, 2022
(by Steve Hopkins) Sharon Alguetti finished first in the 2022 US National Team Trials Men’s Singles event and… Read More

NeuroPong & Table Tennis Connections

July 2, 2022
(by: Antonio Barbera, Table Tennis Connections Founder & CEO) Table Tennis Connections is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based… Read More

Bowmar Sports Tournament Highlights With Emanuel Otalvaro

July 2, 2022
(By: Bowmar ) In this Tournament Highlights Cip, Emanuel Otalvaro is in action in two different WTT YOUTH… Read More

Top Gun: Maverick or Timo Boll?

July 1, 2022
(by Steve Hopkins) The ITTF Foundation’s Social Media had a fun post today (see below, link here).  The… Read More

At Full Steam Training At The Mario Jiménez With The Participation Of Steven Moreno

July 1, 2022
Steven Moreno and the group of tennis players between the ages of 6 and 13 continue training, reinforcing… Read More

The Amount Of Perseverance & Hard Work That Goes Into Table Tennis…

June 29, 2022
(By: Shivkumar Jha) Table Tennis. Also known as ping pong to the lay people. I recall as a child… Read More

Butterfly Training Tips With Shigang Yang – Looping Half – Long Push

June 28, 2022
(By: Bowmar Sports) In this Butterfly Training Tips Shigang Yang he is focusing on his student looping a… Read More
View All News

Get the latest from Butterfly

Stay “In The Loop” with Butterfly professional table tennis equipment, table tennis news, table tennis technology, tournament results, and We Are Butterfly players, coaches, clubs and more.