Petrissa SOLJA in impressive run at the Women’s World CupPhoto: Courtesy ITTF
21 year old stunned the 2,000 plus crowd in the Xebio Arena
Who ever though that Germany’s Petrissa SOLJA already caused enough surprises at the Women’s World Cup in Sendai with the morning first round upset and victory over the no.5 seed Singapore’s FENG Tianwei - he was definitely wrong. In an impressive manner, less than six hours later, the 21 year old caused an even bigger upset and stunned the 2,000 plus crowd in the Xebio Arena; she beat Ai FUKUHARA, in a dramatic seven games duel.
Petrissa SOLJA looked lost after Ai FUKUHARA won the first three games. Gradually in the fourth games she came to terms with the speed of the rallies but at 11-12, she faced match point. The point was saved; Petrissa SOLJA won the next three points; those three points totally turned the match on its head, she adjusted to the speed of the exchanges, her top spin play assumed a higher level of consistency. Incredibly she recovered to record a seven games victory (8-11, 6-11, 2-11, 14-12, 11-5, 11-8, 11-6).
Kasumi ISHIKAWA, the no.4 seed, beat Austria’s LIU Jia, the no14 seed, in a duel littered with rallies that must have had the umpire looking at his watch to see if the Expedite Rule needed to be applied. Eventually Kasumi Ishikawa prevailed in six games (11-8, 6-11, 5-11, 17-15, 11-3, 11-7).
At the age of 42 LI Jiao of Netherlands is not giving up. Her remarkable skills are dangerous as ever. LI booked her place at the Women’s World Cup as a fourth player at the European Top 16 held earlier this year in Baku. Little bit later, in June, LI won gold medal at the European Games at the very same city.
For sure she maintained her winning shape in Japan. Today the no.13 seed, LI beat China’s ZHU Yuling, the no.2 seed, in six games (11-8, 9-11, 11-9, 11-8, 2-11, 12-10) to win the battle of the generations; ZHU Yuling is 20 years of age.
It was the first time that Li Jiao and Zhu Yuling had met in the international arena.
One match earlier it had been success for Chinese star LIU Shiwen, the top seed; she accounted for Turkey’s HU Melek, the no.11 seed, in six games (10-12,11-4,11-3,11-1,11-5).
At the semi-final stage LIU Shiwen plays Petrissa SOLJA, LI Jiao opposes Kasumi ISHIKAWA.