2018 US OPEN - ENTER HERE! | 2018 CANADA CUP 3 - INFORMATION HERE! | | 2018 Angel’s Cup Butterfly Team Tournament - REGISTER HERE!
CAD 1.32
Your Account
Japan Open: Harimoto on Top

Japan Open: Harimoto on Top

(By Steve Hopkins)
Japan Open: Harimoto on Top

     At 14 years old, Japan’s sensational junior Tomakazu Harimoto has had his share of growing pains.  He has been brilliant at some points and very average at other points – but he has continued to improve and he has shown more and more consistency on bigger and bigger stages.
     With a World Ranking of No. 10, this was not exactly a coming-out party for Harimoto, but his performance at the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour LION Japan Open was his best performance to date, and for a Japanese player, the Japan Open is also among the biggest of stages.
     Harimoto began with a win over Korea’s Woojin Jang.  He then beat China’s Zhou Yu to advance to the quarterfinals.  In the quarterfinals he faced Ma Long, the second seed who won the China Open just a week ago.  Harimoto’s showdown with Ma Long began one-sided – with Harimoto winning the first three games.  Each game was close throughout, but with Harimoto pulling ahead at the end.  Ma Long then dominated two games in a row and just as all thought the momentum had changed, Harimoto jumped out ahead in the sixth game and held on to close out the match.  Harimoto over Ma Long 4-2 (8, 9, 7, -3, -2, 6).
     In an event as large as this, the late rounds are not easier.  Harimoto next faced Korea’s Sangsu Lee (No. 8 in the World).  Another top opponent and another 4-2 victory.  Harimoto over Lee 4-2 (5, -10, , 4, 5, -5, 9).  The final pitted the up and coming Harimoto against veteran and former World Champion Zhang Jike.  Jike’s path to the final included wins over Denmark’s Jonathan Groth, China’s Liang Jingkun, Japan’s Jin Ueda, and top seeded Timo Boll of Germany.
     The final was an epic battle of youth against a veteran executing a come-back.  Zhang Jike won the first two games (11-9 and 11-8).  Harimoto then won the next two (11-9 and 11-4).  Jike then won the decisive 5th game to gain a clear advantage only to watch Harimoto win the final two games to claim the title.  Harimoto over Jike to claim the Japan Open title.
     Below, you can view the match highlights of this historic run by Harimoto.

Final (over Jike):

Semis (over Sangsu):

Quarters (over Ma Long):

Latest News

2018 ICC Butterfly America Open

November 14, 2018
2018 ICC Butterfly America Open December 7, 8 & 9 at ICC Table Tennis Center Early Bird Special:… Read More

Ask The Experts: Junya Chen, No. 190

November 14, 2018
Ask The Experts: Junya Chen, No. 190 Butterfly Table Tennis Question and Answer Question: I play at three… Read More

Denver Table Tennis Alliance’s 10th MENSUAL Tourney

November 14, 2018
Denver Table Tennis Alliance’s 10th MENSUAL Tourney (By Angelo Gandullia) Hello Table Tennis players and friends! On Saturday,… Read More

Why is Boll Strong? #5

November 14, 2018
Why is Boll Strong? #5 (Courtesy of BUTTERFLY/TAKUREPO.com) Special Program Q: Why is Boll strong? A: Topspin Stroke… Read More

Ask The Experts: Maggie Tian, No. 189

November 14, 2018
Ask The Experts: Maggie Tian, No. 189 Butterfly Table Tennis Question and Answer Question: Blade: Sardius What suitable… Read More

Use Your Weaknesses or They Will Always Be Weaknesses

November 13, 2018
Use Your Weaknesses or They Will Always Be Weaknesses (By Larry Hodges) Suppose, for example, you have a… Read More

Ask The Experts: Truong Tu, No. 188

November 13, 2018
Question: Blade: Zhang jike ALC Forehand Rubber: Tenergy 80 Currently i am using the above setup. I play some… Read More

Why is Boll Strong? #4

November 13, 2018
Why is Boll Strong? #4 (Courtesy of BUTTERFLY/TAKUREPO.com) Special Program Q: Why is Boll strong? A: Backhand Topspin Loop… 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.