Deputy Referee Report for 2015 Japan Open - Tony Shaw

I left Vancouver on June 21 and arrived at Osaka international Airport on June 22, 2015 at 3:30 PM.  JTTA told me that the referee, Mr. Seta would like me to oversee the Call Area and Racket Control Centre which will be set up and operational by June 23 to provide voluntary racket testing for players. The referee assigned three (3) IU’s to help me in the RCC. Unfortunately, the MiniRae-Lite which was brought to Japan by ITTF staff encountered issues with the filters – not working.  We could only the minister the flatness and thickness test on June 23 prior to the tournament. Luckily enough, we received two filters from JTTA’s main office in Tokyo at 10 AM on June 24 - the first day of the tournament.  All problems were resolved.  There were 97 compulsory tests and 18 voluntary tests with one racket that failed.

The tournament attracted 175 players from 21 countries including Eugene Wang from Canada.  There were 30 IUs and eight competition tables in the main hall.  In addition eight tables were located in the practice hall. There were six events in total: men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s doubles, U-21 men’s singles and 21 women’s singles. Both U-21 men’s singles and 21 women’s singles were captured by the Japanese players. The rest of the champions belong to the Chinese.

There were some upsets during the competition - for example the men’s singles No. 1 seed, Ma Long was defeated by his teammate Shang Kun in round two and women’s singles NO. 1 seed, Ding Ning lost to another Chinese player Chen Meng. The main hall was almost at capacity on the fourth day of the tournament because several top Japanese women players were competing in the quarterfinals for several events. Unfortunately no one survived the next round. On the men’s singles, a surprise upset when Japanese player Yoshimura Maharu (world ranking 43) defeated Korean Joo Shehyuk (world ranking 16) in the semi-final.  In the final match, Chinese Xu Xin proved too strong for Yoshimura Maharu with 4:1 finish.  

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the URC-Table Tennis Canada for selecting me to attend this GAC group 2015 I TTF World Tour Super Series Japan Open.  I had the opportunity to work with an extremely dedicated group of officials and hundreds of volunteers for this spectacular event.