Thu, 28 Oct 2021

TOKYO, July 28 (Xinhua) -- Singapore paddler Yu Mengyu won a match between veterans here on Wednesday, ousting local favorite Kasumi Ishikawa 4-1 in the table tennis women's singles quarterfinals at Tokyo 2020.

The 31-year-old came back from one set down to beat Ishikawa 8-11, 11-5, 14-12, 11-6, 11-2.

"It was actually a tough match that the scoreline may not show, especially in the first four sets," said Yu in the post-match mixed zone.

"My opponent plays an exquisite style and it's quite difficult to deal with," added the Singapore delegation's flagbearer, who rated the third set as the turning point of the contest.

"Trailing 10-8, I managed to save some match points that I can't count now and nailed it down eventually, which boosted me and handed the pressure over to my opponent," Yu said.

Leading 5-0 in the fifth set, Yu earned some points from lucky shots kissing the net or the table narrowly to improve her lead to 10-0. The Singapore paddler then let her opponent score twice easily, before taking the final point with a firm hand.

"I'm so happy to win. It has been the best result for me at an Olympics, and I have no pressure at all to compete in the semifinals as it's a valuable chance for me to play one of the world's top three," said China-born Yu, who confirmed on Tuesday that this will be her last Olympics.

"My decision has not changed even though there's just three years to go before the next Olympics in Paris. With two matches waiting there for me tomorrow, I'd rather think about it later," she added.

Ishikawa, 28, a member of the Japanese team that finished third at Rio 2016 and runners-up at London 2012, admitted that she was nervous but said the situation was the same for her opponent.

"It was bad luck that I couldn't take some momentum when I was in the lead, especially during the third game where I had a 10-8 lead but then she came back and I couldn't take the initiative. I'm very unhappy now," she said.

"We have also prepared quite a lot for the team event," she continued. "I would like to change my spirit now and do my best so that I don't have to feel unhappy later."

"During the last two Olympics I got two medals, and I will do my best to get the third one and try to do better," Ishikawa added.

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