Serene progress for number one seed Kasumi Ishikawa

Kazumi Ishikawa and Jeon Ji Hee book places in Under 21 Ladies Singles Final

The Under 21 ladies’ singles final will be between the top seed – 18 year old Kasumi Ishikawa (Japan) – the World no. seven and the second highest World
ranked player in this event – World no. 33 Jeon Ji Hee (Korea), the rapidly improving ex-Chinese player who has risen from no. 82 in the ITTF Ladies Rankings as of July this year.

Ishikawa’s win over Lee  Ho Ching (Hong Kong), the World no. 69 featured a lot of incredibly snappy half a pace back from the table counter-hitting and although Ishikawa eventually won 4-2 it is  a match she will have mixed views about. Everyone who has played table tennis at any level will have been in a similar situation at some stage. She won the first game far too easily and suffered for it in the next two ends.

She will be undoubtedly have been relieved that the match was over the best of seven format as she was able to reassert herself strongly in the fourth, fifth and sixth ends to win  11-1, 8-11, 8-11, 11-8,11-8, 11-6. Lee Ho Ching won’t be too disappointed – the first end aside she put in a very polished performance and featured in a number of hugely entertaining rallies.

Jeon Ji Hee is one of the rising stars on the women’s circuit and she won the Under 21 Singles in July at the Japanese Pro Tour where her victims included two of the Japanese players taking part in this event – Misaki Morizono and Saki Tashiro.  She came through here safely over five ends (8-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-6, 11-5)  against the surprise package of this event – Ng Wing Wam (Hong Kong), the World no. 91 and seventh seed.

Steve Kerns