WD - Day 5 : There’s no other way out : Japan or South Korea…
Paris time 10:30 am, these two pairs made their appearance on court 2 for their duel towards the final. KIM Soyeong / Kong Heeyong (N°5, South Korea) had won their match against the Japanese once in 2019. No sooner did this battle start that the Korean warriors opened fire. Kim’s back court net shots got their opponents into much trouble, what’s worse for the Nipon good players Nami MATSUYAMA and Chiharu SHIDA(N°9, Japan) , it’s the younger Korean’s hard smashes.. 21/ 17, the first game was quickly wrapped up by the Koreans. On their second set, the young Japanese national players got more concentrated in their game and soon left the Korean ladies behind with 4 points above the top. But they made more mistakes right after the interval, 17/17, the Koreans very soon took their confidence back and they took control until the last point. 21/19. It was a very close one, but just like their high– pitch hoorays showed the audience, the Koreans were over too eager to lose the game. When being asked if they played all their strategies and tactics today Kong Heeyong shouted out « yes !!!!! » without any hesitation. « I don’t know how people think about our pair, but me personally think we are such a good combination together and we could use our good strategies to beat our rivals» happily shared with us Kim Soyeong.
The other one of the late October’s best duels was declared between LEE Sohee/SHIN Seungchan (Seed N°1, South Korea) and the new but strong pair Yuki FUKUSHIMA/Arisa HIGASHINO(Japan). The Korean attackers must know Fukushima so well, but this time, it’s not Hirota but Higashino fighting next to her. This was the first encounter between the two pairs and the fans from all over the world were looking forward to witnessing the legendary moment. Immediately at the beginning of the first game, the Koreans opened fire. 6/1 for quite a start. They looked confident and sent Higashino far on the back court to limit her attack scale. Fukushima was also forced to cover a big part of the court. 13/8, Shin and Lee ‘s first half of the game was easier than they had thought. Nevertheless, the passive defense mode didn’t last for long them. The two newly paired-up only needed some more minutes to get their mind clear and started to hit back with a 4-0 pointing wave. The air heated up when it came to 17/16.. The Koreans started to lack a bit patience 18/18…the breath was taken away. The more experienced Korean sisters scored the next 3 points and moved toward their second win.. But Yuki’s powerful smashes gently took the best of her while the Koreans were holding very tight on their territory. Second game was even more exciting as the players spared no effort to level up their performance. Neither of the pairs could get more than 2 points of lead. The wind started to turn in favor of the Koreans after the interval. Shin’s almost impossible-to-take smashes got blocked by the Japanese pair several times, but she ended up finding a way with the help of her strong partner: the two Koreans took turns to attack the Japanese duo and they could do nothing but defend themselves. This situation lasted until the end of the game:21/18, 21/19. Who will fight the Kim/Kong sister tomorrow for the French open champion title? Shin and Lee!
As for the Young Japanese pair, they shared a very emotional interview with us. Not being able to hold her tears, Yuki Fukushima told us “ I am really enjoying this pair with Arisa. It was a shame we didn’t win today, but we will have other tournaments going on and we will do better in the future. ” To switch the ambiance, the lovely Japanese ladies also told us they would love to do some shopping while they were still here in Paris. On the other hand, the Korean winners confessed that the match was not as easy as it looked. “This is a new pair and we know it’s difficult for them to conquer an experienced group, we are still glad we have played this game. " said the Number 1 seed.