The leading names in their respective groups, Austria’s Liu Jia and Korea’s Suh Hyowon duly concluded the opening day of play, Friday 27th October, at the Uncle Pop 2017 ITTF Women’s World Cup presented by Polar Naturals in Markham, Toronto unbeaten and thus secured places in the main draw.
Impressive performances were the order of proceedings as Liu Jia, the no.12 seed, beat Germany’s Sabine Winter, the no.15 seed, in straight games (11-3, 11-9, 11-6, 11-9) and Suh Hyowon, the no.9 seed, accounted for the host nation’s Zhang Mo, the no.16 seed, in a similar manner (11-9, 11-7, 11-9, 11-6).
by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Staying close to the table throughout the encounter, early timing, the left handed Liu Jia continually made full use of the table creating angles to impose her authority on proceedings against the smooth right handed top spin play of Sabine Winter.
Defeat but one must admire the tenacity of the 25 year old German; in the fourth game, with arguably Liu Jia a trifle over eager, Sabine Winter fought tooth and nail to stay in the match. The point which moved the score from 9-7 to 9-8 typified her splendid attitude; a fortunate net cord early in the rally in favour of Liu Jia forced Sabine Winter away from the table; lobbing the ball high into the heavens, eventually she won the point as Liu Jia blocked the ball into the net.
The point gave the Austrian food for thought, she elected for “Time Out”, she won the next point before on her second match point securing victory.
Short pimpled rubber on the forehand, attacking with such a playing surface can be a winning formula for an attacking player when confronting a defender, memories of Spain’s He Zhiwen the master of the art; it is the racket covering on the forehand used by Zhang Mo.
However, it was patience, exquisite footwork, subtle variations of high thrown backhand services and the ability to top spin from the forehand that proved vital ingredients, as Suh Hyowon exerted her authority.
Sabine Winter now meets Egypt’s Dina Meshref to decide second place in the group; similarly Zhang Mo meets Lily Zhang of the United States.
Uncle Pop 2017 ITTF Women’s World Cup presented by Polar Naturals: Latest Results