Title favourite Ovtcharov knocked out; Pitchford enters quarters
September 23 2021 11:46 PM
South Korea’s Cho Seungmin celebrates after his win against top seed Dimitrij Ovtcharov at the WTT S
South Korea’s Cho Seungmin celebrates after his win against top seed Dimitrij Ovtcharov at the WTT Star Contender at Lusail Sports Arena yesterday.

By Sports Reporter/ Doha

Top seed and Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Dimitrij Ovtcharov was stunned by South Korea’s Cho Seungmin in the Round of 32 match at the WTT Star Contender yesterday. At the Lusail Sports Arena, hot favourite Ovtcharov fell 15-13, 5-11, 16-14, 11-3. However, Seungmin could not sustain his form as he lost in the last 16 later to Croatia’s Andrej Gacina 7-11, 9-11, 7-11.
Against Ovtcharov, Seungmin displayed tremendous character throughout, particularly when the going got tough in games one and three, which could easily have swung either way. “Before the match, I watched videos of Dima and made my plan based on what I saw. He really focused on using his backhand at the start, but maybe he was nervous, so I thought I had a chance. It was difficult for me, but I believed I could win. I have a strong service which I think European players find difficult to return, and my next opponents are European, so I believe I have a good chance and I can win,” said Seungmin
Meanwhile, fourth seed Liam Pitchford is through to the quarter-finals with a victory over Hong Kong’s Ho Kwan Kit 11-5, 7-11, 11-9, 11-8.
England’s Pitchford started well but Ho hit back with a strong performance in game two. The third game proved pivotal as Pitchford prevailed by the narrowest of margins before putting the result beyond any doubt one game later.
Japan’s Hina Hayata picked up her second 3-0 win of the day in the women’s singles event. The number six seed left very little breathing room for Austria’s Karoline Mischek to work with in the Round of 32. Hayata was just as ruthless against Choi Hyojoo one round later, outclassing the Republic of Korea player in quick fashion (11-4, 11-9, 11-9).
“Yesterday I watched a video to prepare for this match and I feel very happy. Now, I will prepare for tomorrow’s Mixed Doubles semi-final and my singles match. I hope to become champion in both events,” said Hayata.
Thailand’s Suthasini Sawettabut was through to the women’s singles quarters after powering through her meeting with Hong Kong, China’s Ng Wing Nam (11-7, 11-8, 11-9).
Jang Woojin and Jeon Jihee will take their place in an all-Asian mixed doubles semi-finals after securing a convincing victory in the last eight. The South Korean pair were rarely troubled in their meeting with Vitor Ishiy and Bruna Takahashi, taking down the Brazilian combination in straight games (11-4, 11-7, 11-7). Down to the final four pairs, Jang and Jeon move through to face fellow compatriots Choi Hyojoo and Lee Sangsu meaning Korean presence in the title decider is now guaranteed.

Japan’s Hina Hayata in action yesterday.

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