Including the Medalists in Rio, almost all the seeded players advanced to the second round. In addition to the detailed match reports attached below, one of the most remarkable games was the game of WS competed by Shiori Saito and Ayumi Mine. By the repeated long rallies, both players performed excellently and the points seesawed all the way. Finally Shiori defeated Ayumi by 23-21 and 22-20.
Another good match was MS between Yosei Yamaguchi, one of the experienced players of S/J league and Naoki Yamasawa, Inter high school singles Champion this year.
After exhausting 3 games, Yamasawa got victory by 13-21, 24-22, 22-20 and advanced to the 2nd round to compete with Ryotaro Maruo tomorrow.
The main players who won today were followings.
Keigo Sonoda & Takeshi Kamura
Takuto Inoue & Yuuki Kaneko
Takuro Hoki & Yuugo Kobayashi
Hiroyuki Endo & Yuuta Watanabe
Ayaka Takahashi & Misaki Matsutomo
Naoko Fukuman & Kurumi Yonao
Koharu Yonemoto & Shiho Tanaka
Yuki Fukushima & Sayaka Hirota
Miyuki Maeda & Akane Yamaguchi
Yuya Komatsuzki & sizuka Matsuo
Yugo Kobayashi & Chiaki Shida
Mahiro Kaneko 2(21-16, 21-19)0 Koudai Naraoka
Junior high school player and the champion of both All Japan Junior High School Championship and All Japan Junior Championship (including high school players),
Naraoka was one of the most expected players of this All Japan Championship.
The match proceeded very closely in both game, and both players showed very exciting rallies. Naraoka made several errors after the end of such long rally, which prohibited his ambition to go up to next rounds as higher as possible.
Kaneko will play against Takuma Ueda, one of the top singles players of Japan.
Nozzomi Okuhara 2 (22-20, 20-22, 21-13) 1 Asuka Takahashi
Nozomi Okuhara, the Women's Singles Bronze Medalist of Rio and the Champions of All Japan 2015, SS Final2015 and All England Open2016, started by the severe completion against Asuka Takahashi, the Junior Japanese Champion 2016.
At the first game, Okuhara repeated unusually the unforced errors, while young Takahashi kept her aggressive play by the powerful smashes and the hard driven clears etc.. The points seesawed one by one before Okuhara took the game by 22-20.
The second game also showed the same manner. Okuhara seemed not to be offensive but too much defensive without stroking the powerful shots. Almost all the shots from the rear court she returned were drop shots and cut shots. Though Okuhara once took the match point, she lost the game by 20-22.
In the third game, by the excellent placements to the corners Okuhara easily accumulated the points by 6-1 and took the lead by 11-2 at the interval. Takahashi could not resist any more and the game was taken by 21-13.
After the game, Okuhara said that her sense of the game was not well enough due to the interval of the tournaments. As today's opponent was tall, she paid attention to the shots from the high touch and should have won by 2-0 games. Her challenge spirit to this All Japan Tournament is same as last year though the image is a bit different from last year. (s)
The winner of Denmark Open, Yamaguchi defeated Watanabe rather easily to proceed to 2nd round.
In the 1st game, Watanabe contested against Yamaguchi patiently and first got game point 20-19 after sea saw game. But, Yamaguchi showed super reverse cut to 20-20 and closed game 22-20.
2nd game started with Yamaguchi's leading to 8-4 and seemed to be finished in Yamaguchi's one-sided game. To the contrary, Watanabe played persistently forced Yamaguchi run to every corner of the court and got 5 consecutive points and reversed the game to 9-8. From this point, Yamaguchi sped up her play and closed match 21-12 including 9 consecutive points from 12-11.
Due to Yamaguchi's precise placement and sharp & strong attack, Watanabe made several easy mistakes and was defeated.
Keigo Sonoda & Takeshi Kamura 2 (21-14, 21-9) 0 Tadayuki Urai & Noboru Miura
After the first winning of the SS held in Hong Kong, the duo of Sonoda & Kamura who is the winner of this tournament last year, showed their skill and power through the first round against Urai & Miura.
In the first game, Urai & Miura could have competed for a while by the steep smashes and the quick touched pushes, as Sonoda & Kamura seemed not to be concentrated in the beginning. Once Urai & Miura took the lead by 5-3, but the combination of Sonoda's smashes and Kamura's drives worked gradually, they took the pace and reversed the points. The first game was taken by Sonoda & Kamura by 21-14. The second game was one sided game. The skill of receives and low and quick touch shots those are the character of the Sonoda & Kamura overwhelmed the counter party. They got easily the second game by 21-9.
Kamura mentioned after the game, he feels tired after the SS in China and HK, but he was happy to win the title in HK and is ready to take the Championship of this tournament consecutively. Sonoda also added that their winning style such as the low and quick rallies worked well in HK and is confident to win again at this tournament. Though they watched the pair of Hayakawa & Endo as the Japanese Champion of MD until last year, now they took over the position as the successor and would like to win again the tournament of SS in the near future as the Japanese number one pair, they said. (s)
Ayaka Takahashi & Misaki Matsutomo 2( 21-9, 21-13)0 Rin Iwanaga & Yui Suizu
High school pair, Iwanaga & Suizu played very aggressively and positively against the gold medalist of RIO Olympic game and world No. 1 ranked players, Takahashi & Matsutomo. several times both Takahashi and Matsutome failed to receive their smashes and drive returns.
However Takahashi & Matsutomo overwhelmed young pair with their precisely controlled placement and skillful techniques.
After the match, Takahashi and Matsutomo quoted that they really felt young opponents' strong will to show their very best play against the top ranked players including us.
Also they said they wish to prepare for the Super Series Finals next week, through the coming games tomorrow onward.