Champions Abundant in Gold Coast but One Stands Above the Field
2015 ITTF World Tour Australian Open
Courtesy of ITTF
A total of 26 titles; that is the number owned by the players whose names appear on the entry list for the Women’s Singles event at the forthcoming GAC Group 2015 ITTF World Tour Australian Open, play starts in Gold Coast on Wednesday June 3rd.
Leading the seeding is Japan’s Kasumi Ishikawa who emerged successful last week in the Philippines, having earlier in her career succeeded in 2010 in Rabat and in 2011 in Santiago; while more recently having been crowned the champion some seven months ago in the Russian city of Ekaterinburg.
Four titles to her credit, also on duty is colleague Sayaka Hirano, she has one more. She owns a total of eight ITTF World Tour Women’s Singles.
She collected her first such title in 2006 in Belgrade, three years later in Bremen she added to her collection; before in 2010 being successful in New Delhi and in 2011 in Almeria. More recently she succeeded in Minsk in 2014.
However, there is no player on duty in Gold Coast who has can match Hong Kong’s Tie Yana; she has appeared in no less than 41 ITTF World Tour Women’s Singles quarter-final,17 semi-finals and 10 finals.
Furthermore, when she reaches the final she has one of the best conversion rates of any player who has ever competed on the ITTF World Tour.
Now 36 years old, most impressively she has won on eight occasions; the first being in 2002 in the city of Gangneung at the Korean Open when she beat her colleague Jiang Hajeun in the final.
Later she won in 2003 in Rio de Janeiro, in 2004 in St Petersburg, before succeeding in 2005 in Zagreb and in 2006 in both Jeonju and Chinese Taipei. One year later she won in Belo Horizonte and in 2010 secured the top step of the podium in Budaors.
Ahead of the Field
Equally, no player on duty in Australia can match Tie Yana in four other respects.
No player has reached the heights she has achieved on the Women’s World Rankings; she ascended to no.3 in July 2006.
World Team Championships
There is no player who can match her in terms of medals won at the World Team Championships.
She has two silver and three bronze just being marginally ahead of Sayaka Hirano who owns one silver and four bronze.
Women’s World Cup
However, when the topic of the Women’s World Cup is on the agenda, there is no player in terms of appearances who can match Tie Yana, whether present in Gold Coast or anywhere else on planet earth.
Head coach of the Chinese Women’s Team, Kong Linghui dubbed Liu Shiwen the “Queen of the World Cup” after she won for the third time on her third appearance in Kobe in 2013.
If Liu Shiwen is worthy of that title; then Tie Yana is the “Empress of the World Cup”.
Notably, she first qualified for the event in 2002 when staged in Singapore and was ever present for the next decade; her swansong being in Huangshi in 2012. A total of 12 consistent appearances; it is a record no player can equal.
One More Factor
Ahead of the field in Australia with respect to the ITTF World Tour, World Ranking, World Championships and Women’s World Cup; there is also one more factor.
Has there ever been a player with a more gracious, stylish and fluent backhand top spin stroke? Again she stands alone.
Eight ITTF World Tour Women’s Singles for Tie Yana, five for Sayaka Hirano and four for Kasumi Ishikawa; a total of 17 successes; next in line at the GAC Group 2015 ITTF World Tour Australia Open are Japan’s Ai Fukuhara and Mima Ito in addition to Korea’s Jeon Jihee. Each has won twice.
Meanwhile completing the club, Yuka Ishigaki and Misako Wakamiya, also from Japan alongside Korea’s Lee Dasom have one win each to their name.
All are contenders for honors in Gold Coast, a total of 42 players have entered the Women’s Singles event.
Visit ITTF.com for more coverage from the 2015 ITTF World Tour, Australia Open (Challenge).