Zhou Yihan beaten by Liu Xi
Photo By: Michael Tse
Nikon 2012 Hong Kong Junior & Cadet Open - ITTF Premium Junior Circuit
China’s Liu Gaoyang and Singapore’s Zhou Yihan were the major casualties as matters progressed to the semi-final stage of the Junior Girls’ Singles event at the Nikon Hong Kong Junior and Cadet Open on Saturday 18th August 2012.
Liu Gaoyang, the no.3 seed, was beaten by Japan’s Yui Hamamoto, the no.9 seed, in the second round (4-11, 11-9, 11-7, 3-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-4); whilst Zhou Yihan departed one round later beaten by China’s Liu Xi, the no.5 seed (10-12, 11-7, 9-11, 11-5, 11-3, 11-3).
Defeats for two highly seeded players but moreover, defeats for two players who have been in good form this year.
Players in Form
In Puerto Rico in January, Liu Gaoyang completed a clean sweep of titles at the ITTF Cadet Challenge; whilst for Zhou Yihan, who leads the Standings, it is her first defeat of the year on the ITTF Junior Circuit.
No Quarter-Final Place for Yui Hamamoto
A place in the semi-finals was thus booked by Liu Xi but there was to be no last four place for Yui Hamamoto.
She was beaten in the round of the last eight by the host association’s Doo Hoi Kem (12-10, 14-12, 11-5, 10-12, 11-9); a win that was somewhat of a revenge verdict.
In the opening round, prior to her success against Liu Gaoyang, Yui Hamamoto had beaten Doo Hoi Kem’s colleague, Ng Ka Yee, seeded one place below (11-4, 12-10, 11-6, 9-11, 3-11, 11-6).
According to statistics it was a result as expected but it was not an outcome that pleased to Hong Kong camp.
“Ka Yee's back is hurting and she cannot perform well in the competition”, explained Guan Jinhua, the Hong Kong Girls’ Team coach who, like Ng Ka Yee was disappointed and somewhat frustrated with the result.
"I should have won”, she said. “I beat her in the team event.”
Doo Hoi Kem Keeps Flag Flying
Nevertheless, Doo Hoi Kem kept the Hong Kong flag flying high and now meets, China’s Gu Yuting, the top seed, in the semi-final; a player in form.
She beat Chow Wei Yeung, also from Hong Kong, on her first visit to the table (12-10, 11-1, 11-6, 11-2), before recording a quarter-final victory over Japan’s Mima Ito, the no.6 seed (11-3, 11-4, 11-7, 10-12, 11-4).
Doo Hoi Kem keeping Hong Kong’s hopes alive in the Junior Girls’ Singles event
Photo by Tony Leung
Total Success for China
Success for China and in the lower half of the draw, total success; Liu Xi meets Chinese National Team colleague, Gu Ruochen in the penultimate round.
Gu Ruochen overcame Japan’s Miu Hirano in her opening contest (11-9, 11-6, 11-5, 13-11), before ending the hopes of the association’s Lam Yee Lok in the quarter-finals (11-6, 12-10, 11-5, 11-7).
Similar in Cadet Girls’ Singles
Semi-final places for the top two seeds in the Junior Girls’ Singles event and it was the same in the counterpart Cadet Girls’ Singles competition.
Hong Kong’s Minnie Soo Wai Yam overcame Thailand’s Pacharaphon Manthiang (12-10, 11-7, 11-6) and Singapore’s fourth seeded Cheryl Tang (13-11, 11-9, 7-11, 6-11, 11-3) to book her place in the penultimate round; the meeting of the two highly seeded players in quarter-finals being the result of Cheryl Tang’s group second place on day earlier.
A disappointment for Singapore but there was success; Ng Xueqi duly booked her place in the semi-finals where she meets Minnie Soo Wai Yam.
She accounted for Chinese Taipei’s Lee Yu-Peng (11-5, 7-11, 11-6, 11-9) and Chinese Taipei’s Chen Yen-Shin (11-5, 11-2, 11-6) to reserve her place in the penultimate round.
Chen Yen-Shin of Chinese Taipei beaten by Hong Kong’s Ng Xueqi
Photo by Donald Chin
Lower Half of Draw
Success for the top seed in the Cadet Girls’ Singles event in the lower half of the draw and it was success for the next in line in the lower half.
Chinese Taipei’s Lin Chia-Hsuan accounted for Hong Kong’s Chan Yik Kwan (8-11, 11-7, 11-6, 13-11) and Singapore’s Yee Herng Hwee (12-10, 11-7, 11-7) to book her place in the penultimate round where she meets compatriot Wang Ting-Lyu.
She accounted for Hong Kong’s Law Wee Lam (11-8, 11-7, 9-11, 11-9) in her opening second stage duel before recording a semi-final victory over the latter’s compatriot, Liu Qi (11-7, 7-11, 16-14, 11-9) to book her last four place.
Meanwhile in the Junior Girls’ Doubles’ event, three of the top four seeded pairs reached the semi-finals but in the counterpart Cadet Girls’ Doubles competition it was the reverse scenario, none of the four remained survived.
China’s Gu Ruochen and Gu Yuting, the top seeds duly progressed in the Junior Girls Doubles as did compatriots, Liu Gaoyang and Liu Xi, the second seeds. Similarly, Japan’s Miu Hirano and Mima Ito, the fourth seeds, booked their last four place but for Singapore’s Lin Ye and Zhou Yihan, it was defeat at the first hurdle.
They were beaten by Hong Kong’s Chow Wai Yeung and Wong Chung Wan (11-7, 11-9, 12-10) who in turn suffered a quarter-final defeat at the hands of Japan’s Yui Hamamoto and Ayane Morita, the no.6 seeds (11-7, 11-4, 11-9).
Yui Hammamoto upset the seeding in both the Junior Girls’ Singles and Junior Girls’ Doubles events
Photo by Donald Chin
In the semi-finals Gu Ruochen and Gu Yuting meet Miu Hirano and Mima Ito; Liu Gaoyang and Liu Xi confront Yui Hamamoto and Ayane Morita.
One upset in the Junior Girls’ Doubles, in the Cadet Girls’ Doubles it was one upset after another with the top four seeded partnerships all falling in the quarter-finals.
Top Four Depart
Hong Kong’s Minnie Soo Wai Yam and Liu Qi, the top seeds, suffered defeat at the hands of Chinese Taipei’s Chen Ting-Ting and Chen Yen-Shin (5-11, 11-7, 11-8, 8-11, 11-6); whilst colleagues Vanness Leung Tsz Ching and Wong Wing Tun, the second seeds, were beaten by Lee Ka Yee and Leung Ka Wan in an all Hong duel.
Equally, there was defeat for two further Hong Kong partnerships. Chan Yik Kwan and Law Yee Lam, the third seeds, lost to Chinese Taipei’s Lee En-Ya and Wang Ting-Lyu (11-4, 11-7, 12-10); a fate the fourth seeds also experienced.
Chan Wan Tung Wharton and Lui Wai Sze suffered against Chinese Taipei’s Lee Yu-Feng and Wang Ching (11-7, 12-10, 15-13).
Three Chinese Taipei Pairs in Semi-Finals
The end result is that three pairs from Chinese Taipei are through to the semi-finals, the top half of the draw seeing colleagues face each other; Chen Ting-Ting and Chen Yen-Shin meet Lee En-Ya and Wang Ting-Lyu.
In the lower half Lee Ka Yee and Leung Ka Wan keep the Hong Kong flag flying; they play Lee Yu-Feng and Wang Ching.
Lee En-Ya partnering Wang Ting-Lyu caused the one upset in the quarter-finals of the Cadet Girls’ Doubles
Photo by Donald Chin