Home flags were flying today at the Osaka Mayor’s Cup - World Super Junior Tennis Championships as Japan’s Jumpei Yamasaki made it through to the final after a day of doubling up and playing both quarterfinals and semifinals to get the tournament back on schedule after rain had caused major disruption.
Yamasaki will be hoping to emulate his fellow countryman Yasutuka Uchiyama who took the title in 2010. To do so he will have to overcome Michael Mmoh from USA who fought through a long three set quarterfinal before going back on court to complete a semi final to secure his final spot.
Local hero Yamasaki has been in good form of late, reaching the final of the Dunlop Japan Open Junior Championship last week, only succumbing to top seed Duck Hee Lee in the final. This week the Saitama local got revenge on Lee in the third round before seeing off Poland’s Mateusz Terczynski in the quarterfinal 62 61 and following up with another straights set win 61 75 over third seed Bradley Mousley from Australia in the semifinal.
Facing Yamasaki in the final will be Michael Mmoh who had to overcome a stiff challenge from Australia’s Harry Bourchier, losing the first set 46 before fighting back to take the subsequent two sets 64 75. Mmoh then got back to winning form in his second match of the day to thwart home hopes of an all Japanese final and see off Sora Fukuda 63 61.
Ranked 43 to Yamasaki’s 79 the American poses a tough challenge for the Japanese but Yamasaki will be counting on enthusiastic home support to carry him through to the title.
In the girls' draw top seed Varvara Flink will need little additional support if she continues in the rich vein of form she has displayed so far this week. The Russian had no trouble dispatching Great Britain’s Emily Arbuthnott for the loss of just three games 62 61 in the quarterfinal before moving onto the semifinal and seeing off China’s Xiaodi You again in straight sets 63 63. The No.1 seed has not dropped a set all week, has not been taken further than 64 in a set and therefore is looking like a hot favourite for the title.
Serbia’s Ivana Jorovic will have something to say about handing the title direct to Flink. The fourth seed has also not dropped a set en route to the final although her quarterfinal against Australia’s Priscilla Hon was a close match ending in a second set tie-break 63 76(5). The Serb didn’t seem to have any issues with stamina and in her second match of the day America’s Katrine Isabel Steffensen fell victim to her strength going down in straight sets 62 61.
Organisers will be thrilled to have got the tournament back on schedule in time for finals day tomorrow when the 2013 Osaka Mayor’s Cup - World Super Junior Championship winners will be crowned.