In neighbor of the Yoyogi 2nd Gymnasium, there are Yoyogi Park and Meiji shrine where people enjoy the beautiful yellow and red colored leaves these days. Meanwhile today inside the Gym, all the quarter finals were held. After the thrilling 3 games match, the pair of Takahashi & Matsutomo of WD and Akane Yamaguchi of WS advanced to the semi finals, however, the top and the second seeded Duos of XD (Kenta Kazuo & Ayane Kurihara, Yuuta Watanabe & Arisa Higashino ) were regret to be gotten out. Super Series MD Champion in Hong Kong, Sonoda & Kamura, and the second seeded pair of Endo & Watanabe of MD safely won and Fukuman & Yonao, the second seeded WD pair also got the victory for the semi finals.
The players who will be in the semi finals tomorrow are followings.
Keigo Sonoda & Takeshi Kamura
Hiroyuki Endo & Yuuta Watanabe
Takuro Hoki & Kengo Kobayashi
Takuto Inoue & Yuuki Kaneko
Ayaka Takahashi & Misaki Matutomo
Naoko Fukuman & Kurumi Yonao
Koharu Yonemoto & Shiho Tanaka
Yuki Fukushima & Sayaka Hirota
Kouhei Gondo & Sayaka Hirota
Ryota Taohata & Naru Shinoya
Katsunori Ito & Natsumi Uratani
Takeshi Kamura & Koharu Yonemoto
Kazumasa Sakai 2 (21-9,21-16) 0 Ryotaro Maruo
From the first shot, Sakai started the game at a full throttle mode with his killer shot of an explosive smash from rear end of the court.
Sakai earned 9 consecutive points from 6-5 to 14-5 through the interval 11-5 in favor to Sakai. This big points for Sakai decided the winner of the first game. Sakai again earned 6 consecutive points from 15-9 to 21-9.
Maruo looked played well over, however shuttle speed of smashes and driven high-clears are not enough to make an open space deliver his killer shots in the opponent court.
In the second game, Maruo chased Sakai up all the time but he could not even tie the game. Sakai cruised safely all the way to the match point 20-15 before closing the match at 21-15.
Akane Yamaguchi 2 (10-21, 22-20, 21-9) 1 Saena Kawakami
Akane Yamaguchi proceeded to the semi-finals after the tough match against same aged rival Saena Kawakami.
Akane started the match with speedy footwork from the beginning, while Saena seemed to be nervous for a while, but after she took 3 consecutive points by the fine smashes and the beautiful crossed net shot, Saena turned to be very aggressive and accumulated the points by 11-8 at the interval. Akane, though the audience expected the more ingenius plays, repeated unforced errors including the shots out of the side lines and a few smash mistakes to the net. The first game was taken by Saena by 21-10.
In the second game, Saena kept her pace and again took the lead by 11-8 at the interval. Akane made the fine saves to the strong smashes by the opponent, but could not get the points consecutively. Saena took once the match point by 20-19, before Akane caught up by 20-20. At that stage, there was the injury interval for Akane, which might have changed Saena's mental concentration, she herself said after the game. Yamaguchi took the second game by 22-20.
In the final game, Saena was not able to change the mental just after the loss of the previous game, she also said at the press interview. Akane easily lead by 6-1 and 11-5. After then, Saena stroked fine crossed smashes and made the exquisite placement, but almost all the fine shots were returned milaculously by Akane. Saena could not resist anymore and the game was closed by 21-9. (s)
Hiroyuki Endo & Yuta Watanabe 2(21-18, 21-13)0 Tatsuya Watanabe & Kohei Gondo
Young Watanabe played today very well same as the yesterday's performance. Now it seems that Endo/Watanabe pair are almost equal to Endo & Kenichi Hayakawa pair who have been leading Japanese men's doubles long time. As well known, Endo/Hayakawa pair are several times' champion of this tournament also got 5th place a RIO.
Ayaka Takahashi & Misaki Matsutomo 2 (16-21, 21-18, 21-13) 1 Naru Shinoya & Chisato Hoshi
After Takahashi & Matsutomo played the severe match against the junior teammate pair at Nihon Unisys today, they advanced to the semi-finals.
In the first game both pairs carefully started and the score seesawed all the way before Shinoya & Hoshi took the lead by 11-10 at the interval. In the latter half of the game, the pair of Shinoya & Hoshi consistently received the hard smashes and quick pushes, while the Gold Medalist sometimes lost the points by the unforced errors. The first game was taken by Shinoya & Hoshi by 21-16.
In the Second game, Taka/Matsu concentrated from the beginning, but the quick touched pushes by Shinoya and the powerful and quick drives by Hoshi worked precisely, thus the score again moved one by one. After the interval by 11-8, Taka/ Matsu kept their lead 14-10, 17-11, 18-14. Once the opponents caught up by their sticky plays at 18-18, but the game was closed by 21-18 in favor of Taka/Matsu.
In the final game Hoshi repeated the smash aces and Shinoya' quick touches in the front area of the court performed well. In contrast Taka/Matsu pair showed their skill of defense and they took the lead by 11-9 at the interval. The score of the last stage seemed to be one-sided, but almost all the rallies were long and exciting for the audience. Eventually, Taka/Matsu won by 21-13.
At the press interview, Takahashi said in the middle of the second game she recognized that she needed to change the mind and tried to return in the more front area of the court. Matsutomo also commented that they became too much nervous as the opponent was junior teammates, and that the younger pair was surprisingly stronger than the usual practice.
Takahashi said that the tough 3 games match played by Akane Yamaguchi in front of them was a good stimulation which means any of the top players would have difficult situation throughout the tournaments, and that they would try to do what they would like to do tomorrow again. (s)
YukiFukushima & Sayaka Hirota, 2(21-18, 21-15)0 Wakana Nagahara& Mayu Matsumoto
Nagahara/Matsumoto are expected as the promising big scale doubles players. They could not fully show their capacity in offence, but displayed excellent ability in defense utilizing their broad reaches against opponents' smashes and drop shots etc.
Fukushima/Hirota showed their excellent attacking powers, such as swift rushing to net, and acute & sharp smash. They also used combination of fast and slow pace, which broke the tactics of Nagahara/Matsumoto.
In the 1st game Nagahara/Matsumoto caught up to 18-19, but Fukushima/Hirota closed game 21-18. In the 2nd game, Nagahara/Matsumoto gradually lost their concentration, and Fukushima/Nagahara got 3 and 2 consecutive points to close the match by 21-15.
Kohei Gondo & Sayaka Hirota 2(22-20, 21-17)0 Kenta Kazuno & Ayane Kurihara
The 1st game proceeded as sea saw game, but Gondo/Hirota's kept and gradually increased their lead, to 20-16. At this point, Kazuno/Kurihara speeded up their play and caught up to 20 all.
It looked the champion pair of last year reversed the game and rather easily won the match. However, Gondo/Hirota made their very best effort and took 2 points consecutively to close the game.
In the second game, Gondo/Hirota kept their pace and allowed only 3 times of 2 consecutive points to the opponents. They closed the match 21-17.
Through the match Hirota's aggressive play with excellent anticipation was very conspicuous. Gondo showed skillful feint crossed net shots from time to time.
To the contrary, Kazuno's play was rather unstable and he made several fatal unforced errors.
Takeshi Kamura & Koharu Yonemoto 2(21-16, 21-19)0 Yuta Watanabe & Arisa Higashino
The young pair, Watanabe/Higashino showed their good sense of playing mixed doubles, but could not beat Kamura/Yonemoto, one of the current leading XD players. In the 1st game, Watanabe/Higashino competed with Kamura/Yonemoto till 16-16, but after that, Kamura/Yonemto got 5 consecutive points to close the game. 2nd game proceeded almost same as 1st game till 15-15, but this time the young pair led to 19-15 by 4 consecutive points. However, Kamura/Yonemoto speed up their play and got 6 consecutive points to close the match 21-19. Watanabe/Higashino made relatively more unforced errors than their opponents that was the reason why they could not win.