Ishikawa Kasumi and Harimoto Tomokazu eliminated in first round at ITTF Finals 

Suh Hyo-won, Jang Woo-jin provide first-session ITTF Finals surprises in the round of 16.

By ZK Goh

South Korea's Suh Hyo-won and Jang Woo-jin provided two of the biggest surprises as the International Table Tennis Federation Finals began on Thursday in Zhengzhou, China.

Fans were present in the arena watching as Suh, the women's world number 23, defeated Ishikawa Kasumi 4-1 to eliminate the Japanese joint-world number nine.

Ishikawa only managed to win the second game, as Suh comfortably clinched an 11-8, 3-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-5 victory.

"I faced her quite recently at the Women’s World Cup and studied the match to prepare for this. I was quite confident going into this," Suh told the ITTF after the match.

In the men's draw, world number 18 Jang staged a comeback from 3-1 down to beat tournament fourth seed Harimoto Tomokazu in a match that went the full seven games.

Republic of Korea's Jang Woo-jin reacts after defeating Japan's Harimoto Tomokazu in the round of 16 at the 2020 ITTF Finals. (Photo: ITTF)

Comeback from Jang

The fifth game was a big turning point for Jang, who was on the verge of elimination.

He pushed Harimoto hard, eventually hanging on to take the game 12-10.

That seemed to break his opponent, as Jang eased to comfortable margins in the sixth and seventh games, winning 6-11, 2-11, 11-7, 7-11, 12-10, 11-2, 11-5.

"In the fifth game, 3-1 down 10-8 to him, I thought I would lose the match so I just gave it a go and got some lucky points," Jang admitted.

"I think he got nervous and after the fifth game I had less pressure."

In other results from the first morning session:

Men's world number one Fan Zhendong eased to a 4-0 straight games win over Jeoung Young-sik 11-6, 11-2, 11-5, 11-7

Ishikawa's fellow world number nine, Feng Tianwei of Singapore, was also on the end of a 4-2 surprise result as Germany's world number 20 Petrissa Solja won 11-8 8-11 9-11 11-5 11-7 11-9.

(Top photo credit: ITTF)