Ai Fukuhara beaten by Feng Tianwei
Photo By: Mauricio Val
GAC GROUP 2012 ITTF World Tour, Brazil Open
Korea’s Kim Kyungah and Singapore’s Feng Tianwei booked their places in the final of the Women’s Singles event at the GAC GROUP 2012 ITTF World Tour Brazil Open in Santos following semi-final successes early in the afternoon of Sunday 17th June.
Kim Kyungah, the no.4 seed, overcame compatriot Seok Hajung, the no.6 seed, to reach her fourth GAC GROUP 2012 ITTF World Tour Women’s Singles final of the year; she won in Spain and Chile, whilst being the runner up in Japan.
Meanwhile, Feng Tianwei, the no.2 seed, accounted for Japan’s Ai Fukuhara (10-12, 11-8, 11-6, 11-3.
The win being recorded after Kim Kyungah had succeeded in five games (11-8, 6-11, 12-10, 11-5, 11-4).
Not Favourite Style
Arguably the one player Seok Hajung did not wish to face in the Women’s Singles semi-final, it was her compatriot Kim Kyungah.
It’s always difficult facing a colleague and it’s even more difficult when the adversary in question is one of the very best at her art in the world and that art produces a picture which brings pleasure to the eye of the spectator but not to the opponent.
Trials and Tribulations
Seok Hajung is a fine player, of that fact there is no doubt whatsoever but she has endured trials and tribulations against defenders in the past.
However, one week ago at the GAC GROUP 2012 ITTF World Tour Japan Open, she comfortably beat the French defender Li Xue in four straight games and to some extent showed that she is overcoming her deamons.
New Found Confidence
Certainly against Kim Kyungah she demonstrated a new found confidence against backspin play in the early part of the contest.
She lost the first game but in the second and third games was able to win points with a fast forehand attack, with minimal topspin, directed towards the Kim Kyungah backhand. She won the second game, in the third she had opportunities but in the third made very tame unforced errors to fall one game behind.
Very much losing the third game was a pivotal moment; frailties seen in the past returned, she made a series of unforced errors and was not relishing the challenge faces.
Kim Kyungah won the fourth and fifth games comfortably; Seok Hajung had no heart for the battle, defensive skills had once again proved the nemesis for Seok Hajung.
It was Ai Fukuhara who won the first game, or stole the first game; she was only ahead at game points.
The fast backhand, the side of the racket on which she uses short pimples, proved the effective weapon; attacking quickly over the table, changing direction brought success but, in the second game, after trading blow for blow against Feng Tianwei in the early part of the game she made errors.
Gradually, as the match progressed the top spin play of Feng Tianwei became more consistent, more effective.
After losing the first game, she asserted her authority on proceedings; she won the third and fourth games, her backhand top spin play down the parallel producing success after success.
In the fifth game she led 10-4; six match points. Ai Fukuhara saved three, Feng Tianwei called “Time Out”; she sought advice from Jing Jun Hong, the Singapore coach on duty.
The advice was sound, a backhand top spin along the parallel again brought success; Japanese hopes were quashed, Feng Tianwei was in the final.