Excelled in Group Stage, Form Maintained in Preliminary Round
2016 ITTF Hungarian Open
Courtesy of ITTF
First place in their respective groups against expectations in the initial stage of the Women’s Singles event at the 2016 ITTF World Tour Hungarian Open in Budapest; players with no current World ranking, the Japanese trio of Natsumi Nakahata, Mizuki Morizono and Honoka Hashimoto continued their good form in the preliminary round of proceedings on the afternoon of Thursday January 21st.
All emerged successful to reserve places in the main.
Natsumi Nakahata accounted for Spain’s Maria Xiao, listed at no.104 on the current Women’s World Rankings (11-9, 8-11, 11-3, 5-11, 12-10, 11-9); at the same time Mizuki Morizono ended the hopes of Turkey’s Merve Menge, globally rated at no.113 (12-10, 11-8, 9-11, 11-4, 7-11, 14-16, 11-8).
Two fine performances but the star of the Japanese show was Honoka Hashimoto. She accounted for Wang Chen of the United States (8-11, 12-10, 11-6, 11-9, 11-7).
Seeking Place in Rio de Janeiro
Wang Chen, who celebrated her 42nd birthday last Sunday, is presently named at no.115 on the Women’s World Rankings; her stated goal is to reach Rio de Janeiro and compete in what would be her second Olympic Games, she was present in Beijing in 2008.
Prior to competing in China’s capital city, Wang Chen had stated that the event would be her swansong. However, the lure of competition proved too great, the winner of three ITTF World Tour Women’s Singles titles when representing her native China, Wang Chen returned to international action at last year’s GAC Group 2015 ITTF World Tour Czech Open.
Main draw places booked against expectations, it was the same for four more players in the preliminary round of the Women’s Singles event.
Korea’s Yoon Hyobin and China’s Yu Yang, both players with no current World ranking, had upset the odds to secure first places in their respective groups, as had Romania’s Cristina Hirici and Wu Yue of the United States.
Yoon Hyobin beat Japan’s Shiho Matsudaira, World ranked no.112, in a hard fought full distance seven games duel (11-7, 10-12, 3-11, 11-5, 11-9, 9-11, 11-8); whilst Yu Yang and Cristina Hirici both caused Serbia pain.Yu Yang accounted for Anamaria Erdelji (11-7, 12-10, 19-17, 12-14, 11-8). Cristina Hirici overcame Gabriela Feher (11-13, 11-9, 11-7, 5-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-1).
Presently Anamaria Erdelji is named at no.118 on the current Women’s World Rankings, Gabriela Feher at no.121, Cristina Hirici is listed is at no.168 on the Women’s World Rankings.
Pan American Games Winner
Surprises but arguably the success of Wu Yue was no surprise at all; she accounted for Japan’s Haruka Saki (11-7, 11-6, 11-9, 11-4). Haruka Saki is globally listed at no.125, Wu Yue at no.172.
However, Wu Yue has already qualified for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games; last year in July she won the Women’s Singles title in the Women’s Singles event at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games.
Unexpected First Places
Unexpected main draw places for Natsumi Nakahata, Mizuki Morizono and Honoka Hashimoto; it was somewhat the same in the Under 21 Women’s Singles event where all three upset the global order to reserve first places in their respective groups.
Furthermore, they were not alone; colleagues Maki Shiomi and Kasumi Kimura were unexpected group winners, as was Egypt’s Yousra Helmy.
First Place for Top Names
Not anticipated but that was not the situation for the top names who were required to compete in the qualification stage of the Under 21 Women’s Singles event.
The Czech Republic’s Kristyna Stefcova and Katerina Tomanovska secured pole positions, as did Israel’s Nicole Trosman and Emina Hadziahmetovic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Play in the main draw of all events commences on Friday January 22nd.
- Men’s Singles
- Women’s Singles
- Men’s Doubles
- Women’s Doubles
- U-21 Men’s Singles
- U-21 Women’s Singles