Hina Hayata prevails in Almeria to claim 2017 Spanish Open title

(Photo: ITTF)

There was success for Japan in Almeria on 26th November as Hina Hayata edged to a narrow seven games victory over Korea Republic’s Jeon Jihee to lift the Women’s Singles trophy at the 2017 Spanish Open.

Seeded first for the tournament Hina Hayata travelled to Almeria as the favourite to reach the top step of the medals podium but she very nearly came undone in the penultimate round of the event, requiring the deciding end to see off Romanian opponent Bernadette Szocs.

The lower half of the semi-finals draw produced a comfortable win for Jeon Jihee who negotiated her tie against Saki Shibata in straight games, carrying plenty of momentum into the title match.

Very little separated Hina Hayata and Jeon Jihee in the final and much to the delight of the spectators the battle went right down to the wire.

With the scores level at 10 points apiece in the seventh game Hina Hayata then went on to hold a match point advantage which was recovered well by Jeon Jihee, but with the following two points going in the Japanese player’s favour the final was brought to a close (5-11, 11-2, 6-11, 11-9, 11-3, 10-12, 13-11).

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