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Surprise Defeats for Ariel Hsing and Hu Melek but Door Still Open to Main Draw
By: Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Hu Melek beaten by Mima Ito  Photo By: Hu Xiaojun

06/12/2013        GAC Group 2013 ITTF World Tour, China Open, Super Series (Click here to access this section)

Ariel Hsing of the United States and Turkey’s Hu Melek were the players to suffer surprise defeats on the opening day of play, Wednesday 12th June 2013, at the ITTF World Tour China Open in Changchun.

Hu Melek, 24 years old and currently listed at no.50 on the Women’s World Rankings, was beaten by Japan’s 12 year old Mima Ito, presently named at no.128 and the player who heads the Under 15 Girls’ World Rankings.

Furthermore, Hu Melek is a player in form. She reached the quarter-final stage of the Women’s Singles event in Paris at the recent LIEBHERR World Championships.

Outstanding Form
Mima Ito, who in her opening contest had beaten Korea’s 17 year old Kim Byeolnim, the winner of the Junior Girls’ Singles title at the Korean Junior and Cadet Open last year (8-11, 6-11, 11-9, 13-11, 11-7, 11-4), was in outstanding form against Hu Melek.

She posted a straight games win (11-8, 11-5, 11-6, 11-7).

First and Second Progress to Main Draw
However, the door to the main draw of the Women’s Singles event is not closed for Ariel Hsing; the players finishing in first and second places in each of the eight groups join the 16 seeds in round one.

In her opening match of the day, Hu Melek had beaten India’s 23 year old Mouma Das in four straight games (11-4, 11-6, 11-3, 11-9). Mouma Das currently stands at no.195 on the Women’s World Rankings.

One match remains for each player in the group; Mima Ito faces Mouma Das, Hu Melek confronts Kim Byeolnim; presently Kim Byeolnim is at no.220 on the global list.

Defeat on First Visit
Defeat for Hu Melek on her second visit to the table; for Ariel Hsing it was defeat at the first attempt.

Winner of the Intercontinental Cup at the Volkswagen Women’s World Cup in Huangshi last September, Ariel Hsing was beaten by Korea’s Kim Mingyung in a close seven games duel (5-11, 4-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-9, 3-11, 11-6).

Kim Mingyung, 20 years old, is presently listed at no.237 on the Women’s World Rankings, Ariel Hsing, 17 years old is at no.97.

Success on Second Visit
A reverse in her opening contest; it was success for the American on her second visit to the table.
She beat Japan’s 22 year old Haruka Sakai, World ranked no.137, in four straight games (11-5, 11-8, 11-9, 12-10).

Focused on Moving Feet
"After losing my match this morning, I just focused on moving my feet and moving my opponent around more in my second match this afternoon; I feel that I play a lot better when I can get to the ball”, said Ariel Hsing. “In my final qualification match tomorrow I just want to play my best; tonight I want to get a good night’s sleep and eat well so I can just fight tomorrow."

Success in her second match on court, it was the same for Kim Mingyung; she accounted for India’s Ankita Das in four straight games (11-9, 12-10, 11-3, 11-6).

Second Defeat of Day
It was the second defeat of the day for Ankita Das, in her opening duel, she had been beaten by Haruka Sakai in a six games duel (11-3, 11-4, 8-11, 12-10, 5-11, 11-7).

Currently Ankita Das is at no.268 in the world order.

In the remaining matches in the group, Ariel Hsing meets Ankita Das, Kim Mingyung confronts Haruka Sakai.

Notable Names Tested
Two upsets for players whose World ranking tipped them as favourites to finish in first places in their respective groups, for two more there were close calls.

Germany’s 30 year old Shan Xiaona and Singapore’s 19 year old Zhou Yihan both experienced problems.

Shan Xiaona, World ranked no.77, opened her account in style by beating Ireland’s Liu Na in four straight games (11-6, 11-2, 11-8, 11-8),before being stretched to the limit by Japan’s 12 year old Miu Hirano (5-11, 11-8, 6-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-1).

Two Close Wins
Meanwhile, for Zhou Yihan, World ranked no.111, it was a tough test on both visits to the table; she needed the full seven games to overcame both Wu Yue from the United States (11-8, 11-7, 10-12, 6-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-9), before enduring a similar tough battle against Japan’s 14 year old Miyu Kato (11-9, 9-11, 11-3, 11-6, 4-11, 8-11, 11-8).

High Level of Maturity
Both Miu Hirano and Miyu Kato, alongside Mima Ito, are two of Japan’s young players who belie their age.

Miu Hirano currently stands at no.180 on the Women’s World Rankings being at no.5 on the Under 15 Girls’ World Rankings; Miyu Kato is at no.129 on the senior list and at no.2 on the Under 15 order of merit, in May she was at no.1.

Conclusion of First Stage
In the first stage of the Women’s Singles event each player has one match remaining; the group phase concludes on Thursday 13th June 2013.



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