Photo: Hiromasa ManoDuck Hee Lee (KOR)
Day five at the Osaka Mayor’s Cup - World Super Junior Championship continued to be affected by heavy rain with play continuing indoors at the Beans Dome and the Esaka Tennis Centre. The Beans Dome gets its name from the shape of the arena which was built as the stock-yard for natural disasters.
One player experiencing his own disaster was top seed Duck Hee Lee. Highly tipped to take his first Grade A title this week, the Korean came into the tournament on a run of good form having won the Grade 2 Dunlop Japan Open Junior Championship last week. However local favourite Jumpei Yamasaki appeared to cope better with the difficult indoor conditions and caused the biggest upset of the week, taking out the No.1 seed in two very tight sets 75 76(2).
Yamasaki will now face Mateusz Tercznski in the quarterfinals, who followed up his defeat of the seventh seed Simon Friis Soendergaard in round two with a straight sets victory over Great Britain’s Lewis Roskilly 64 76(4).
Japan will have three representatives in the quarterfinals after Makoto Ochi, seeded 10, and unseeded Sora Fukuda fought through tough matches to secure spots in the last eight. Makoto Ochi only needed two sets, but two very close sets to overcome China’s eighth seed Weiqiang Zheng 76(4) 75 whilst Sora Fukuda’s match with fifth seed Nino Serdarusic from Croatia went to the wire ending in a final set tie-break 64 67(4) [10-7].
Making up the final eight are three Australians and one American. Bradley Mousley and Harry Bourchier overcame Alexander Klintcharov from New Zealand 63 62 and Zhouyang Qiu from China 67(3) 63 [10-8] respectively, whilst Akira Santillan saw off fourth seed Ken Onishi from Japan in straightforward fashion 61 64. Michael Mmoh now becomes the highest seed in the draw - the second seed has yet to drop a set and dispatched Korea’s Chan-Yeong Oh 62 62.
In the girls' competition, there were far fewer upsets on day 4 where top seed Varvara Flink from Russia already has her campaign to win the Osaka Mayor’s Cup well and truly underway. The Russian followed up her impressive performances in the first two rounds which an equally efficient 64 61 win over Australia’s Lizette Cabrera. Flink now plays Emily Arbuthnott from Great Britain in the quarterfinals after Arbuthnott knocked out Japan’s Kanami Tsuji 64 63.
Seeded players Xiaodi You (13), Ivana Jorovic (4) from Serbia and Katrine Isabel Steffensen (9) from USA all made it through to the quarterfinals with straight sets wins and can all be considered as contenders for the title.
Priscilla Hon caused the only real upset of the day when she took out sixth seed Shilin Xu from China 63 76(8). Hon will join fellow Aussie Kimberly Birrell to makes up the final eight.
With an improvement in the weather forecast it is hoped that play will resume outside at the Utsubo Tennis Centre from the quarterfinals onwards.