Team Singapore athlete Clarence Chew (in yellow) serving against his opponent, Japan's top-ranked player Tomokazu Harimoto. Photo: T2 Diamond
Singaporean player Clarence Chew, the Host Exempted Player for Seamaster T2 Diamond 2019 Singapore, faced off with Japan's top-ranked player Tomokazu Harimoto in one of the most anticipated matches of opening day.
After a tentative start, Chew kept his composure to pull level, winning the second game handily. Harimoto stormed back to take the third game but the Singaporean fought to 10-10 in the fourth before losing.
Chew said: “It was great to be in this tournament in the company of the world’s best players. I had nothing to lose so I just went out and did my best. Tomo is very experienced and he handled the big points better.”
Meanwhile, the opening match between Xu Xin and Wang Chun Ting is the shortest one in the tournament’s history after Wang turned his ankle trying to retrieve an outrageous return from Xu.
The intriguing battle between Hitomi Sato and Wang Yidi went the way of the Japanese player whose variety and doggedness could see her go far in this tournament.
The encounter between Malaysian leg winner Zhu Yuling and the beaten finalist there Wang Manyu could best be described as unpredictable. And it was Wang who made the most of T2 Diamond’s revolutionary format by securing victory by winning three FAST5 games, joining Singapore’s Feng Tianwei as the only players to do so.
Wang Manyu said: “I couldn’t really get into the match even when it reached the FAST5, then it was a matter of adjusting and making sure I lasted the distance. I will stay in the present and just focus on the next match.”
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