Photo credit: Tang Shi

No less than three of the women’s single quarterfinals were battles between China and Japan. It would be impressive for either country to have three players in the semifinals but two would probably also be fine.

The first women’s single on the TV court was second seeded local hero Akane Yamaguchi against Chen Yufei (5). Yamaguchi was up with an 8-3 head-to-head lead before the match and she would of course love to build on to that statistic in front of her home crowd.

But after an even start of the match it was Chen Yufei who grabbed first game after making a good finish with 21-13. She speeded up towards the end of the game and the Japanese made too many mistakes. In second game things were very even again and at 14-14 it was doubtful which way it would go.

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With the help from 5 consecutive points Yamaguchi could go to interval and prepare for a third game. She won second 21-15 and was feeling on top again. And just like the two previous games, third game also started as a close and even affair. The girls followed each other up to 8-8 and went to mid-game interval at 11-9 for the Chinese.

Click here to read about the men’s single between China and Japan – the one called the battle of kings

After the short break it seemed Yamaguchi had lost some of her pace. She didn’t score more points on her own serve, only when winning the serve back from Chen Yufei. So when the Chinese converted some of her serves into points things were pretty much settled. Akane Yamaguchi left the tournament with 15-21 in third game and Chen Yufei made it a first for China.

One down, two more to go!

Aya Ohori and Gao Fangjie were playing at the same time on court 2. The Japanese had won the only previous encounter between the two – on Chinese soil at China Masters last year. So maybe Gao would even the statistics by defeating the Japanese on her home soil?!

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Quickly it was proved that it would be really tough for Gao Fangjie if she should win today. It was 9-0 for Ohori before the Chinese got her first point! She did manage to reduce the gap to Aya Ohori but she never became a serious thread for the local hero. Gao Fangjie lost first game 14-21 and would definitely have to change something if she wanted to win today.

The changes didn’t function though. At no point during the whole match was it Gao who was in the lead. She leveled up at 7-7 in second game but from this moment Aya Ohori didn’t look back. A new streak of 8 points helped the Japanese to take a very comfortable victory of 21-12.

Click here to read more about a surprise in men’s singles

Tomorrow Ohori will have the pleasure of facing the winner of the last women’s single between Chinese and Japanese players; either Chen Xiaoxin, who eliminated Tai Tzu Ying yesterday, or Nozomi Okuhara, who already defeated one compatriot in Sayaka Sato.

Chinese double while waiting…

We have to wait an hour or two until we find tomorrow’s opponent of Aya Ohori though. In the meantime there was an all-Chinese women’s double between the Asian Games Champions Chen Qingchen/Jia Yifan and Tang Jinhua/Yu Xiaohan.

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It was the first ever encounter between the two Chinese pairs and it didn’t take long time to decide this first clash. After 8-8 in first game Chen and Jia didn’t look back and they left their compatriots with no chances for glory.

Click here to read about Chen Long being left without glory as well

After 37 minutes the third seeded favorites had won 21-11 21-15. Tang and Yu did however pull up a fantastic comeback in second game as they were down 2-14 on the way. But little did it help and they can now go home and prepare for China Open next week while Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan can prepare for the semifinal in Tokyo.

 

Match details:

WS: Chen Yufei, China (5) vs. Akane Yamaguchi, Japan (2) 21-13 15-21 21-15
Total point score: 57-49
Total points played: 106
Length of match: 68 min
Average points per minute: 1.56
Average seconds per point: 38.49 sec

WS: Aya Ohori, Japan vs. Gao Fangjie, China 21-14 21-12
Total point score: 42-26
Total points played: 68
Length of match: 46 min
Average points per minute: 1.48
Average seconds per point: 40.59 sec

WD: Chen Qingchen/Jia Yifan, China (3) vs. Tang Jinhua/Yu Xiaohan, China 21-11 21-15
Total point score: 42-26
Total points played: 68
Length of match: 37 min
Average points per minute: 1.84
Average seconds per point: 32.65 sec

 

Fun fact:

Try and compare the statistics of the two last matches above. 68 points were played in both of them but the women’s double was approximately 25% longer than the single.

 

Stay tuned! There are more Japan Open updates on the way…

 

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