Asians halted European aspirations
Perfect 2016 World Team Table Tennis Championships
China and Japan, the respective top two seeds in the Women’s Championship Division at the Perfect 2016 World Team Championships in Kuala Lumpur booked their places in the semi final.
Japan suffered in the match against Germany day earlier, but in the quarterfinal it was opposite scenario. Asian girls prevailed in straight matches.
Mima ITO, only 15 years old started proceedings and beat Sabine Winter in four games.
“I chose Mima to play first because she was the player in the group stage who played the best in the team; she has not lost a match”, said Yazakazu MURAKAMI. “Today she showed really good concentration, she followed the tactics and she was able to adapt.”
Kasumi ISHIKAWA and Ai FUKUHARA beat Petrissa SOLJA and Kristin SILBEREISEN.
“After we lost last night we did a lot of video analysis; we looked at where we made mistakes”, continued Yazakazu Murakami. “Yesterday before we played the match we knew we had secured first place, I think the players took it for granted that they would win; today was much different, it was a change for the better.”
In the match China against the Netherlands LIU Shiwen lost her opening game against LI Jiao, but it was much closer contest in the final stages of the match when DING Ning had to save one match point in the fifth and deciding game against Li Jie, before emerging victoriously.
LI Xiaoxia also faced predssure; she needed four games to beat Britt EERLAND.
“Against Li Jiao it was difficult at the start, I was leading and she came back”, said LIU Shiwen. “She is an experience player and it took me some time to adapt but the more the match progressed, the more comfortable I became.”
DING Ning added: “It was really hard work; I have not played a great deal recently against that style of play. Li Jie uses short pimpled rubber on the backhand, not long pimples, which enables her to vary the spin on the ball, I did not adapt. I was surprised how well she played. I really did not expect such a hard match.”