Sayaka Hirano Advanced To The Finals In The 2011 Spanish Open.

Sayaka Hirano advanced to the finals in the 2011 Spanish Open.
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Semi finals matches started today, April 10, 2011, in Alemeria, Spain for the 2011 Spanish Open. The first semi final match is between the closely ranked Asians, Tie Yana, ranked sixteenth and Sayaka Hirano, ranked seventeenth in the world. Indeed, the two players fought very closely and reached the sixth round to Hirano’s favor with a 4-2 total score.

Tie Yana (HKG) vs Sayaka Hirano (JPN)
11-5, 8-11, 11-4, 7-11, 10-12, 14-16

The two players started good and immediately tied in 1-1 at the start of the first round. Tie Yana, however, immediately dominated the score board and nailed six straight points with 7-1. After reaching the eighth point, Hirano posted two more points but still behind in 8-4. Obviously, Tie Yana reached the match point first and immediately ended the round relatively easy with an 11-5 score.

This time, Hirano reversed her fate and posted four straight points at the start of the second round 4-0. This time, Hirano gained some momentum and played obviously better than the previous round. Hirano returned the favor to Tie Yana and managed to increase her lead to six points 7-1. However, Hirano did not completely lose her composure and tried to narrow the lead to three points 9-6. This time, Hirano reached match point first with a four point lead 10-6. Towards the end of the match, Tie Yana was still able to earn two more points before the round ended to Japanese player Sayaka Hirano, 11-8.

Similar in the first round, two players tied immediately in 1-1 at the start of the third round. Tie Yana managed to take the lead first with five points forcing Hirano to retain in her second point, 7-2. This time, Tie Yana came back to the game and took excellent control over the table throughout the round. Tie Yana reached match point first with a six point lead 10-4 then finally ending the round with an impressive 11-4.

At the start of the fourth round, the two players started fighting closely and tied in 3-3, then 4-4. However, Hirano managed to break away from the tie and led four points ahead with 8-4. Tie Yana managed to cut her deficit to two points 8-6, then 9-7. Hirano, for the second time reached match point ahead of her opponent and tied with Tie Yana in a total score of 2-2 with an 11-7 score in the fourth round.

In the fifth round, Tie Yana first took the lead with 4-2. However Hirano quickly came close to Tie Yana in 5-5, then 6-6. After the tie at six points, Hirano managed to reverse the lead to her favor in 8-6, then 9-7. However, Tie Yana won’t allow Hirano to lead any longer and reduced it to zero with 9-9, then, eventually reached the match point 10-9. Hirano immediately tied in 10-10 causing a time out called by the Japanese player. After the tie, Hirano went to match point ahead and directly ended the round to her favor with 12-10 score.

After leading the total score board with 3-2, Hirano gained so much confidence and dominated the first five points at the start of the sixth round. After the fifth point of Hirano, Tie Yana finally earned her first two points 2-5. Tie Yana, in the middle of the round started to show some signs of depression and started to lose her focus, while Hirano maintained her lead in 9-6. Although Tie Yana was still behind Hirano, she was still into the game after narrowing the lead to one point 9-8, then finally tied in 9-9. Hirano reached the match point first but Tie Yana immediately tied in 10-10, then tied again in 11-11. Tie Yana showed her determination to block Hirano in ending the match in this round and tied again for the third time in 12-12 and eventually took the match point 13-12. Hirano, on the other hand, succeeded in breaking Tie Yana’s block and finally ended the match in the sixth round with a tiring 16-14.       

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Table Tennis was banned in the USSR from ca 1930 to 1950 because it was believed to be harmful to the eyes

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