Top Seeds Crash in Chile Quarter-Finals

Lausanne-Switzerland, April 30, 2012: Top Seeds Crash, Japan’s Jun MIZUTANI and Singapore’s FENG Tianwei, the top two seeds in the respective Men’s and Women’s Singles events at the GAC GROUP 2012 ITTF World Tour Chile Open in Santiago, both crashed to defeat at the quarter-final stage on Saturday 28th April. Jun MIZUTANI was beaten by national team compatriot 26 year old Kazuhiro CHAN, the no.8 seed (10-12, 12-10, 11-8, 9-11, 11-8, 11-9); whilst FENG Tianwei suffered at the hands of Korea’s 18 year old YANG Ha Eun, the no.7 seed (11-9, 11-9, 5-11, 3-11, 11-5, 11-8).

It was for Kazuhiro CHAN, a milestone in his career: never previously had he progressed beyond the second round of a Men’s Singles event on the GAC GROUP World Tour or its forerunner, the ITTF Pro Tour. Meanwhile, for YANG Ha Eun it was a continuation of the good form shown one week earlier at the GAC GROUP 2012 ITTF World Tour Spanish Open in Almeria, where she reached the final, losing to colleague, the more experienced 34 year old KIM Kyung Ah.

In Santiago, they will meet again but this time in the semi-finals, both feature in the top half of the draw. At the quarter-final stage KIM Kyung Ah repeated her success of one week earlier when she had beaten Japan’s Ai FUKUHARA in the quarter-finals in Spain. In Santiago history was repeated, KIM Kyung Ah beat Ai FUKUHARA in five games (11-5, 11-7, 11-2, 9-11, 11-5).

Upsets in both quarter-finals in the Women’s Singles event in the top half of the draw and it was the same in the Men’s Singles competition. Brazil’s Cazuo MATSUMOTO, the no.14 seed beat Germany’s Ruwen FILUS, the no.9 seed in six games (11-7, 11-6, 7-11, 5-11, 11-9, 11-9) to book his place in the semi-finals. It is the first time the Brazilian has progressed to the penultimate round of a Mens Singles event on Tour. Surprises in the top half of the Men’s and Women’s Singles events but not in the lower half, where Singapore reigned supreme in the quarter-final encounters.

In the Men’s Singles event, GAO Ning, the no.2 seed, beat Germany’s Steffen MENGEL, the no.5 seed (11-5, 8-11, 11-4, 13-11, 4-11, 11-8) whilst ZHAN Jian, the no.3 seed, overcame Japan’s Kenji MATSUDAIRA, the no.7 seed (8-11, 1-12, 11-7, 11-7, 11-8, 11-7).

Similarly, in the lower half of the Women’s Singles draw it was success for Singapore. SUN Beibei, the no.6 seed ended the progress of United States qualifier ZHENG Jiaqi (12-10, 11-2, 11-9, 11-13, 11-8) and Li Jiawei, the no.4 seed, halted the adventures of Japan’s Hiroko FUJII, the no.8 seed (8-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-8, 11-3). A disappointment for Hiroko FUJII but there was consolation.

In partnership with Misako WAKAMIYA and occupying the no.1 seeded position, the Japanese pair beat colleagues and third seeds Ai FUKUHARA and Misako WAKAMIYA (8-11, 11-5, 13-11, 11-7, 11-9) to reach the final where they face team mates Yuka ISHIGAKI and Yuri YAMANASHI.

The fourth seeds, they beat Singaporean second seeds, LI Jiawei and SUN Beibei in the penultimate round (11-6, 11-5, 13-11, 11-5). Success for the top seeds in the Women’s Doubles event and it was the same in the Men’s Doubles competition. Singapore’s YANG Zi and ZHAN Jian, the no.1 seeds beat Japan’s Kenta MATSUDAIRA and Jun MIZUTANI, the no.4 seeds (11-8, 4-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-9) to gain revenge for the defeat in the final one week earlier in Spain.

At the final hurdle in Santiago, the Singaporeans will meet Korea’s KIM Dong Hyun and LEE Jung Woo, the no.4 seeds; at the semi-final stage KIM Dong Hyun and LEE Jung Woo accounted for GAO Ning and LI Hu, also from Singapore and seeded no.2. The Singapore pair won in six games (11-7, 11-8, 11-7, 4-11, 14-18, 11-8).

Meanwhile, in the two events to be settled on the fourth day of play, Singapore’s CHEN Feng, the no.2 seed, beat Germany’s Patrick FRANZISKA, the no.1 seed to win the Under 21 Men’s Singles crown (3-11, 11-4, 11-9, 6-11, 11-9, 11-5); whilst Japan’s Kasumi ISHIKAWA, the no.1 seed, overcame Korea’s YANG Ha Eun, the no.2 seed in the Under 21 Women’s Singles final, a repeat of the final one week earlier in Spain.

Kasumi ISHIKAWA, won once again and once again in six games (9-11, 11-5, 6-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-6). It was her fourth consecutive Under 21 Womens title this year. In addition to Spain, she had won in Slovenia, Qatar and Spain.

Photo by: Cristian Larrain

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