All-Japanese semis pairings were arranged yesterday after Yurie Takanishi, Ayano Shimizu, Nanaka Takeuchi, and Ayumi Hirata prevailed in their respective quarterfinal matches at the Pacific Islands Club hard court.
The qualifier Takanishi eliminated the No. 7 seed and compatriot Kanako Ota after pulling off a 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 win in the Round of 8. Takanishi’s semis foe is Shimizu, who is left as the highest seeded player to make it to the Final Four after the first round elimination of No. 2 seed Yuri Katano of Japan and Round 2 loss of top-ranked Yinglak Jittakoat of Thailand. Shimizu marched into the semifinals after easing past No. 5 pick and Australia’s Gabriella Da Silva Fick, 6-1, 6-2.
In another battle of seeded players, the No. 3 Takeuchi downed the sixth-ranked Maria Dominique Ong of the Philippines, 6-3, 6-4, for a semis date with Hirata. The Japanese qualifier got a break in yesterday’s quarterfinal round after giant killer Sing-Le Fan Chiang of Chinese-Taipei retired due to injury. The unranked Chiang, who booted out Katano in the first round and beat Palau’s Ayana Rengiil in the second, was ahead, 4-3, when she decided to call off her match against Hirata.
The Hirata-Takeuchi semis showdown is set for today at 10am at PIC’s Court 1, while Takanishi and Shimizu play their Final Four tiff at 8am on Court 2.
Meanwhile, the semis cast in the girls doubles was also completed yesterday with three Japanese teams earnings slots to the next round.
The top-ranked pair of Ota and Takeuchi defeated Hirata and Ong, 7-6 (3), 6-1, to advance against Shimizu and Takanishi, who swept the CNMI’s Mikayla Lopez and Negahr Rastguiy, 6-1, 6-3.
The other semis pairing in the girls doubles will have the fourth-seeded Katano and Asumi Kanazawa facing the Thailand duo and second-ranked Jittakoat and Gorbua Srisirisupayok. Katano and Kanazawa swept Australia’s Millie Khoury and Hong Kong’s Alvina Lai, 6-3, 6-3, while the Thai pair eliminated the CNMI’s Tammy Ackerman and Rengiil, 7-5, 6-3.
Upset in boys singles
Upsets marked the quarterfinal round of the boys singles.
The fifth-ranked Jack Barber of the U.S. pulled off a stunner against top seed Jack Wong of Hong Kong, winning yesterday’s quarterfinal match in three sets. Barber took the opening set, 6-2, but Wong forced a deciding third set with a similar 6-2 win in the second. Barber went on to complete the upset with a 6-3 victory in the third and arranged a semis duel against No. 7 Ming Chung Alan Sou of Hong Kong.
Sou also endured a three-set quarterfinal match at the upper half of the bracket against fellow Hong Kong player Ching Lam. The unranked Lam threatened Sou with a tough 7-6 (4) win in the first set before the latter avoided the former’s upset axe by sweeping the last two sets, 6-2, 6-3.
In the lower half of the draw, the eighth-ranked Benard Bruno Nkomba of Australia ousted the third-seeded Chak Yin Chan, 6-2, 6-1, while the No. 2 pick Taisei Miyamoto of Japan is still living up to his lofty billing, following a quarterfinal sweep against the No. 6 seed Kody Pearson, 6-3, 6-3.
Miyamoto and Nkomba will battle for the second finals berth today at 10am after the first semis match between Barber and Sou at 8am.
Barber is also in the semifinals in the doubles event, as he and Hong Kong’s Chak Yin Chan rallied past Indonesia’s Steven Harianto Poedji and South Korea’s Yohan Sung, 5-7, 6-2, 10-8. The top-ranked Chan and Barber will battle Japan’s Miyamoto and Yuki Watanabe in the semifinals at the upper half of the draw after the latter pair also survived Nkomba and Pearson in three sers, 2-6, 6-0, 12-10.
In the lower half of the draw, the semis match up will be Hong Kong’s Ching Lam and Wong against Japan’s Daisuke Sumizawa and Cheuk Yin Yuen. The Hong Kong pair earned a 6-3, 6-3 quarterfinal win over the CNMI’s Tommy Choi and Amami Sakano, while Sumizawa and Yuen beat Australia’s Joshua Ecalnir and Chris Kafataris, 6-2, 6-4.