by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Raquel Andrade and Diya Parag Chitale were as expected; they commenced matters as the respective second and third seeds. Raquel Andrade concluded her group phase contests with success against Lebanon’s Jennifer Khayat (11-8, 11-6, 11-9, 11-8); Diya Parag Chitale overcame Egypt’s Shahd Sadek (11-8, 11-5, 11-5).
Contrary to expectations
However, top spot for Shahd Sameh and Manel Baklouti was contrary to expectations.
Shahd Sameh continued her good form of the previous day when she had beaten Germany’s Selja Fazlic, the no.2 seed, in a full distance five games duel (8-11, 11-8, 1-11, 11-6, 11-3); she ended her group matches with success in opposition to Tunisia’s Samar Hichri (12-14, 11-9, 11-2, 4-11, 11-4).
Selja Fazlic received a walk-over in her concluding match against Lebanon’s Christy Avida and thus secured second position and a place in the main draw.
Meanwhile, for Manel Baklouti it was a different situation.
One day earlier she had beaten Tunisian colleague, Fadwa Garci, the no.5 seed (7-11, 11-1, 11-7, 11-7) as had Egypt’s Rowan Hamad (11-6, 11-7, 14-12).
The decision as to who would top the group lay in the hands of Manel Baklouti and Ramed Hamed, the two hitherto unbeaten players. The decision went in favour of Manel Baklouti, she beat Ramed Hamed in four games (11-6, 14-16, 11-8, 11-7).
Pole positions secured
Disappointment for Fadwa Garci in the Junior Girls’ Singles event but not in the Cadet Girls’ Singles competition where, occupying the no.2 seeded position, it was first place in her group.
Likewise it was pole position for Diya Parag Chitale, the top seed, as it was for Shahd Sameh, the no.3 seed and Manel Baklouti, the no.5 seed.
Disappointment for Islam Wenaiss
However, it was not the best of fortunes for Islam Wenaiss, the no.4 seed and like Manel Baklouti from Tunisia.
In her initial group phase match, she experienced defeat at the hands of Lebanon’s Laetitia Azar. She was beaten in four games (12-10, 7-11, 11-8, 11-7).
Defeat in her opening contest but later she overcame Tunisia’s Farah Mahjoub in five games (11-7, 8-11, 7-11, 12-10, 11-8). A place in the main draw appeared a realistic possibility but there was a problem. Farah Mahjoub beat Laetitia Azar in four games (11-3, 6-11, 11-8, 11-5); thus games ratio decided the outcome.
Matters did not go in favour of Islam Wenaiss, on games ratio she finished in third place (4:5) behind Farah Mahjoub (5:4) and Laetitia Azar (4:4).
Players finishing in first and second places in each of the five groups advanced to the main draw; thus for Islam Wenaiss there was no place in the second stage.
Proceedings for the leading pairs in the Junior Girls’ Doubles event have yet to begin; play concludes on Sunday 4th September.