25 Aug 2016

Winner on the ITTF Junior Circuit in 2014 in both the Slovak Republic and Poland; India’s Ayhika Mukherjee was the player to cause the biggest upset, as play commenced in the qualification stage of the Women’s Singles event at the Asarel 2016 ITTF World Tour Bulgaria Open in Panagyurishte on Wednesday 24th August.

No current World ranking, the 19 year old accounted for Romania’s Andreea Dragoman in four straight games (11-5, 11-6, 11-3, 11-7); presently 16 years of age Romanian is named at no.150 in the global order.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

However, future progress for Ayhika Mukherjee lies out of her hands. In her opening contest she was beaten in a close seven games duel by the host nation’s Anelia Karova (11-7, 5-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-7, 9-11, 14-12).

In order to be sure of progression to the main draw, Ayhika Mukherjee needs a favour from Andreea Dragoman; if the Romanian can beat Anelia Karova in the concluding match of group, to be played on the second day of action, top spot will belong to Ayhika Mukherjee.


Second place in the group and progress is in doubt.

A total of 14 groups in the first stage of the Women’s Singles event; players finishing in first place in each group are guaranteed progress to the main draw, from the players finishing in second place, two names will be drawn at random to join the16 seeds in the opening round.

Differing Fortunes

Mixed fortunes for Ayhika Mukherjee; that was very much the story of the day for India.

Mouma Das and Pooja Sahasrabudhe both accounted for Bulgarian opponents on their one and only visit to the table; Mouma Das beat Ivet Ilieva (11-3, 11-3, 11-3, 11-8), Pooja Sahasrabudhe overcame Mihaela Dimova (9-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-6, 11-8).

Conversely for Reeth Tennison, it was two defeats but against most creditable opposition. She was beaten by Russia’s Maria Malanina (11-4, 11-4, 11-9, 11-6), before experiencing the same fate when opposing Chinese Taipei’s Wang Yi-Ju (8-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-4, 13-11).

Opposite Sides of World

Meanwhile, for two aspiring young players from opposite sides of the world, there was a most promising start to adventures when facing Bulgarian adversaries.

Jinnipa Sawettabut, 16 years old, overcame Monika Tsaneva (11-3, 11-2, 11-7, 11-2), Melanie Diaz, 20 years of age, defeated Elisa Zamfirova (11-7, 11-5, 8-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-7).

Leading Names Succeed

Success for two players seeking to establish themselves at senior level; there was also initial success for the leading names on duty in the qualification phase.

Japan’s Saki Shibata beat Ivona Baskarad from Bosnia-Herzegovina (11-5, 11-4, 11-4, 12-10); colleague Yu Amano defeated the host nation’s Maria Yovkova (11-4, 11-7, 10-12, 11-4, 11-8).

Likewise there was a bright start for the third name on the order of merit; Russia’s Olga Vorobeva overcame Bulgaria’s Monika Tsaneva (11-2, 11-2, 11-2, 11-3).

Similar Scenario

Success for the leading names on Women’s Singles qualification stage duty, it was the same in the initial phase of the Under 21Women’s Singles competition. Japan’s Maki Shiomi, Romania’s Irina Ciobanu, Russia’s Ekaterina Guseva and Chinese Taipei’s Lin Po-Hsuan all emerged successful in their opening exchanges and take a major step towards a place in the main draw.

Players finishing in first place in each of the seven groups plus one “Lucky Loser” drawn at random from the second placed players join the eight seeds in the main draw.

Play in the qualification stage of both the Women’s Singles and Under 21 Women’s Singles events concludes on Thursday 25th August.

Latest Results

Wednesday 24th August: Men’s Singles – Qualification Stage

Wednesday 24th August: Women’s Singles – Qualification Stage

Wednesday 24th August: Under 21 Men’s Singles – Qualification Stage

Wednesday 24th August: Under 21 Women’s Singles – Qualification Stage

Thursday 25th August: Men’s Doubles – Preliminary Rounds

Thursday 25th August: Women’s Doubles – Preliminary Rounds

Friday 26th August: Under 21 Men’s Singles – Main Draw

Friday 26th August: Under 21 Women’s Singles – Main Draw

Friday 26th August: Men’s Singles – Main Draw

Friday 26th August: Women’s Singles – Main Draw

Friday 26th August: Men’s Doubles – Main Draw

Friday 26th August: Women’s Doubles – Main Draw

World Tour Bulgaria Open Ayhika Mukherjee