by Simon Daish
Just Two Left for Belarus
Ten players from Belarus were eliminated from their groups, as Alina Arlouskaya was the only competitor from her country to finish in the top two of the group stages.
However, Arlouskaya didn’t have it easy herself on day two after she was involved in a full seven end encounter against Daria Shadrina (Russia).
Arlouskaya made a positive start to the match with Shadrina by taking a 2-0 lead, but three games in a row for the Russian opponent changed the complexion of the match. Game six fell to Arlouskaya before the Belarusian competed the win by claiming the seventh game to join Viktoria Pavlovich (Belarus) in the main draw.
Besides Arlouskaya’s qualification, there was very little to cheer about for the home players; Kastiaryna Vakhliayeva, Daria Trigolos, Nadezhda Bogdanova and Marharyta Baltushite all finished their groups of four just a single point behind second place to miss out on qualification.
There were also disappointing outcomes for the Belarusians in the groups of three players, as Hanna Patseyeva, Katsiaryna Baravok, Maryia Kuchuk and Alina Nikitchanka exited with no victories between them.
Farladanska Squeezes Through
Group 1 saw a roller coaster of a match between Ukraine’s Ganna Farladanska and Kristina Kazantseva of Russia.
Both players knew that a win would put either of them through to the next round, so nerves were expected and the match didn’t fail to deliver on drama.
Farladanska edged the opening three ends to establish a strong grip on the tie, but Kazantseva completely turned the match on its head by registering three consecutive games of her own to take the battle into one final showdown.
Deuce was required in game seven as neither player could be separated after 20 points; eventually Farladanska found the winning formula to seal the match (11-9, 12-10, 11-9, 9-11, 6-11, 7-11, 13-11), and following the outcome the Ukrainian expressed her delight upon achieving qualification:
“I’m glad I’ve made it to the main draw. The match against Kristina Kazantseva was tough, now that she has appeared in the senior competitions. It was difficult from the psychological point of view as well, since she tied the score each time I lost concentration even for a second. I was definitely a bit lucky in the final set.” – Ganna Farladanska (Ukraine).
Japanese Players Into Main Event
The 2016 Bulgaria Open Under 21 Women’s Singles champion Saki Shibata, and the 2016 Czech Open Women’s Singles runner-up Maki Shiomi are both into the main draw after securing top spot in their groups.
Shibata beat both of her opponents on day one, and Shiomi made sure that Japan would have no casualties in the preliminary groups by defeating Svetlana Mokhnacheva (Russia) in her remaining match.
Thursday 8th September: Women’s Singles – Qualification Stage