Margaryta Pesotska - one of Kasumi Ishikawa's victims

Kasumi Ishikawa becomes the first winner of the day

Top seeded Kasumi Ishikawa (Japan), the 18 year-old World no. seven made no mistake in the first round of group matches in the Under 21 Ladies’ Singles at the ITTF Pro Tour Finals at the London Excel Centre.

She didn’t have it all her own way against World no. 59 and sixth seed Margaryta Pesotska (Ukraine) but she had enough in hand to win pretty comfortably 11-6,11-9, 11-4, 11-9. The all-Japanese clash between the third seed Misaki Morizono (World no. 43) and  Saki Tashiro, the lowest ranked player in the field produced some of the best rallies of the morning and it was World no. 142 Saki Tashiro who came out on top. She won a fast and furious game 4-11, 11-9, 11-6, 8-11,11-8, 13-11.

Jeon Ji Hee (Korea) the fifth seed based on the ITTF Pro Tour standings also made a successful start to her Tournament and she eased past the second seed Lee Ho Ching (Hong Kong) in what was a very close game 9-11, 11-9, 13-11, 15-13, 6-11, 11-9. However, with Jeon ranked globally at no. 33 compared to Leo’s no. 69 the ITTF rankings can be said to have been upheld.

Seventh seeded Ng Wing Wam’s 4-3 win over Ching-I Cheng (Taipei) did constitute a genuine upset with the World no. 91 from Hong Kong prevailing 9-11. 11-7, 11-9, 8-11, 11-9, 5-11, 11-8 against World no. 51 and the  no. four seed in this event.

Steve Kerns