Photo credit: Tang Shi
Japan’s Mayu Matsumoto and Wakana Nagahara have had a great month. First they won the World Championships in Nanjing, China, and then they added one more title at the Spain Masters in Barcelona.
Today the Japanese duo was up against Du Yue and Li Yinhui from China for the second time only. First time was in 2013 where the Chinese won in straight games at the Asia Youth U19 Championships. Like in so many other matches today, the World Champions were up for revenge!
Things didn’t go as planned though. After a few rallies to get settled on court Du and Li stepped on the speeder and quickly pulled away from the local girls. 11-5 at mid-game interval was followed up by a victory in first game on their fourth game point; 21-16 for the Chinese duo.
In second game Matsumoto and Nagahara simply couldn’t keep up. They had an off-day and it seemed there was nothing to do for the Japanese World Champions. In just 44 minutes it was all over and the Japanese were out.
With 21-10 for Du Yue and Li Yinhui the two Japanese have to wait until next time before they can seek revenge. In the meantime the Chinese can start preparing for a semifinal against their training partners Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan tomorrow. Chen and Jia are seeded 3 and won 6 of 7 previous encounters with Du and Li.
Sad finish for Japan
The last match of the day was another clash between China and Japan. This time not in women’s single but in men’s double where He Jiting and Tan Qiang were up against Takuro Hoki and Yugo Kobayashi. The two pairs are ranked 19 and 21 in the world and the Chinese won the only previous encounter at the Bonny China Masters in 2016.
Today the Japanese started off best and didn’t let their opponents try to be in front in first game. It was still very close though but Hoki and Kobayashi bagged the game 21-18 on their third game point. Second game was even closer and the two pairs were both in the lead several times during the game.
Hoki and Kobayashi were very close to claiming the victory as they were all even at 19-19 but unfortunately for the Japanese they lost 19-21. A third decisive game was needed. Here the match was still very even up to 9-9 but then we saw a deciding change.
Eight consecutive points to the Chinese was more than Hoki and Kobayashi could take. He Jiting and Tan Qiang won 21-15 and thereby ends the long quarterfinal day. Tomorrow they are facing the world number 1, Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo from Indonesia, so they have to be ready from first point.
Still, it’s the Indonesians who are down 0-1 head-to-head. Once again the favorites will be seeking revenge…
WD: Du Yue/Li Yinhui, China vs. Mayu Matsumoto/Wakana Nagahara, Japan (8) 21-16 21-10
Total point score:
Total points played:
Length of match: min
Average points per minute:
Average seconds per point: sec
MD: He Jiting/Tan Qiang, China vs. Takuro Hoki/Yugo Kobayashi, Japan 18-21 21-19 21-15
Total point score: 60-55
Total points played: 115
Length of match: 60 min
Average points per minute: 1.92
Average seconds per point: 31.30 sec
Stay tuned! There are more Japan Open updates on the way…