Liu Shiwen vs Kasumi Ishikawa (Women’s World Cup, November 2015)

20151102 - Liu Shiwen vs Kasumi Ishikawa

Impressive performance by Liu Shiwen (China) in the final of the Women’s World Cup. The first set is very close and there are some brilliant rallies. Ishikawa (Japan) has an opportunity to win the set, but can’t quite close it out. Sets 2, 3 and 4 are a bit more one-sided, as Liu Shiwen finds her best form. What I really like about Liu Shiwen is the placement of her attacks. She frequently attacks deep or wide and this puts Ishikawa under enormous pressure. It’s a good lesson for all players. You attacks should combine speed, spin AND placement.

Kasumi Ishikawa vs Ai Fukuhara (Bulgarian Open, August 2015)

20150828 - Kasumi Ishikawa vs Ai Fukuhara

Lightening fast match between two of Japan’s best female players. What impresses me with this match is that both players keep close to the table – neither player is willing to give ground. This results in some very fast topspins and blocks and frequent changes of direction. Mesmerising to watch.