Listed respectively in the top two positions on the Under 15 Girls’ World Ranking list, Japan’s Miyu Maeda and Lily Zhang from the United States, both emerged successful in their first round matches in the Girls’ Singles event at the Volkswagen World Junior Championships in Bahrain on Thursday 17th November 2017.
Miyu Maeda won a close seven games duel (10-12, 11-3, 11-6, 9-11, 11-8, 8-11, 12-10) against India’s Manika Batra, at the same time as Lily Zhang won in six games (11-8, 11-3, 11-6, 8-11, 6-11, 11-5) in opposition to Hungary’s Mercedes Nagyvaradi.
Positive Response Both teenagers were tested, both responded and perhaps experience counted.
Certainly that was the case for 15 year old Lily Zhang in opposition to 17 year old Mercedes Nagyvaradi.
Incredible Number of Appearances A semi-finalist in the Women’s Singles event at the recent Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Lily Zhang has played in three World Championships and currently she is playing in her fifth World Junior Championships.
She is only 15 years old!
Target It is quite possible that when junior days have finished, she will have competed in no less than eight World Junior Championships!
At senior level she was present in Yokohama in 2009, the following year in Moscow and earlier this year in the Netherlands.
Meanwhile, at junior level she made her debut in 2007 in Palo Alto near her home, she was present in Madrid in 2008; then on duty one year later in Cartagena de Indias and one year ago in snow clad Bratislava!
Debut Conversely, Mercedes Nagyvaradi has never played in a World Championships and is making her debut in the Volkswagen World Junior Championships, in terms of experience, despite the Hungarian being two years older, there was no comparison.
Confident “It’s the first time I had played her”, said Lily Zhang. “I was a little nervous before the match but I think I was more confident that nervous; the first three games went smoothly but then she became used to my style of play, she adjusted and I had to change things as well.”
She duly changed; she adapted as all good players do.
Leading Names Succees Success for the top two rated players in the Under 15 age group and there was success for the leading players in action in the first round of the Girls’ Singles event.
In the top half of the draw, Japan’s Kasumi Ishikawa accounted for Ellen Hwang of the United States (11-3, 11-6, 11-2, 11-5), before, Germany’s Petrissa Solja, the no.7 seed and Russia’s Yana Noskova, the 6 seed, posted victories.
Petrissa Solja overcame Puerto Rico’s Carelyn Cordero (11-6, 11-5, 11-3, 11-4), with Yana Noskova defeating Sweden’s Jennifer Jonsson (11-8, 11-5, 11-6, 11-6).
Gu Yuting in Form Similarly, there was a comprehensive success for Gu Yuting, the no.3 seed; she overcame Peru’s Francesca Vargas (11-2, 11-6, 11-3, 11-1); a severe lesson for the young Peruvian but she is a young lady of character. The defeat will motivate her, not dissolution her.
Lower Half of Draw Success for China in the top half of the draw and also in the lower where Zhu Yuling and Gu Ruochen both emerged successful.
Seeded no.2, Zhu Yuling overcame the Korean penholder (11-8, 11-7, 11-7, 11-4 ) to bring the first round of the Girls’ Singles event to a conclusion after Guo Ruochen had beaten Sweden’s Daniela Moskovits (11-4, 9-11, 11-4, 11-2, 12-10).
Success for Japan and Romania Two wins for China in the lower half of the draw and wins also for Japan and Romania. Japan’s Ayuka Tanioka, the no.5 seed, used her defensive skills to good effect to beat Fiji’s Tina Mii (11-3, 11-3, 11-1, 11-5) after Romania’s Bernadette Szocs had overcome Thailand’s Rattanaporn Rattanavonga (11-6, 11-6, 11-8, 11-5).