Kasumi Ishikawa wins 2014 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals women’s singles title

En route to the championship match of the ITTF World Tour Grand Finals in Bangkok, South Korea’s Hyowon Seo (No. 10 in the world) had played the role of a giant slayer, defeating the top seed and No. 4-ranked Tianwei Feng of Singapore, 13-11, 11-3, 11-8, 6-11, 11-8, in the quarterfinals.

However, in the finals, Seo admitted that the tactics of her opponent, No. 6-ranked Kasumi Ishikawa of Japan, surprised her.

“I never expected Kasumi to play this strong,” Seo said during the post-match press conference.  “Kasumi normally plays strategically, [but it was] different today.  So I am very shocked.”

Although Seo raced to a 7-2 lead in the first game, Ishikawa won nine consecutive points to wrap it up.  The outcome going forward was never in doubt, and as a result, Ishikawa swept the match in straight games, 11-7, 11-7, 11-3, 11-9, to take the Grand Tour World Finals trophy and US$100,000 in prize money.

“I came into the event with no expectations, which took the pressure off me,” Ishikawa said after the match. “I am going to spend my big cheque on a nice long holiday to a tropical beach somewhere!”

Photos: 2014 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals
all photos by Yuan-Kwan Chan / Meniscus Magazine

Video: Kasumi Ishikawa & Hyowon Seo press conference – 2014 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals 
video by Yuan-Kwan Chan / Meniscus Magazine