Bernadette Szocs the mainstay of Romanian success in the first phase of proceedings
Photo By: Jean-Philippe Dufour
2011 French Junior & Cadet Open - ITTF Junior Circuit
Russia `A’, the United States of America, France `A’ and Romania, the top four seeds in the Junior Girls’ Team event at the French Junior and Cadet Open in Metz, all finished in first place in their respective groups on Friday 29th April 2011.
It was for the top three seeds a day without great alarm but for the fourth seeded Romanians there were moments of drama.
They had to rely heavily on the experience of Bernadette Szocs to guide them to a place in the main draw.
Represented by Anna Rossikhina, Yana Noskova and Ekaterina Guseva, the top seeded Russians were never extended the full five match distance on their way to a place in the main draw.
Similarly, the American trio of Lily Zhang, Ariel Hsing and Erica Wu were equally never in serious danger, nor was the outfit representing France `A’. Sarah Berge, Anaïs Leveque and Laura Gasnier were not to be denied a place in the main draw.
However, for Romania, life was more testing.
In their final group match they were stretched the full five match distance by the Russian `B’ team comprising Anna Blazhko, Nadezda Mozyakina and Dana Chernova.
Romania took an early lead thanks to Bernadette Szocs and Diana Dragnea recording respective wins over Anna Blazhko and Nadezda Mozyakina; however, the Russians recovered.
Daria Chernova beat Roxana Iamandi and Anna Blazhko overcame Diana Dragnea; both matches being secured in straight game. Therefore, the result of the contest depended on the outcome of the duel between Nadezda Mozyakina and Bernadette Szocs; the verdict went to the Romanian but she was tested.
She won the first two games, lost the next two; then recovered to win the fifth to secure a Romanian victory.
Top Seeds Reach Semi-Finals
Meanwhile, in the Cadet Girls’ Team event the top two seeded teams both finished in first place in their respective groups and as a result both progressed directly to the semi-final stage.
Hong Kong (Doo Hoi Kem, Soo Wai Yam) and France (Laura Pfeffer, Marie Migot) were never seriously troubled; in fact neither team surrendered a single individual match.
At the semi-final stage, Hong Kong meets the partnership of Canada’s Michelle Liaw and America’s Prachi Jha; whilst France A’ confronts the third seeded Czech Republic pairing of Kristyna Stefcova and Denisa Hoskova.
In the quarter-finals Prachi Jha and Michelle Liaw beat the India’s Maria Rony and Hong Kong’s Wong Wing Tung by three matches to nil with the Czech Republic succeeding by the same margin against the French `B’ team of Alice Liu and Audrey Zarif.