by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
At the final hurdle Su Pei-Ling and Wen Ruei-Ling overcame the combination of Portugal’s Raquel Andrade and Japan Yuko Kato (11-8, 11-3, 11-4).
“We have played together now for almost a year”, said Su Pei-Ling. “The result may suggest it easy, but believe me, it wasn’t so; that’s the reason why we are now so delighted.”
Meanwhile, occupying the no.3 seeded position in the Junior Girls’ Singles event, in the latter stages, she overcame Germany’s Luisa Saeger, the no.4 seed (8-11, 11-8, 12-10, 10-12, 11-5, 14-12) and Amy Wang of the United States, the no.7 seed (6-11, 11-5, 11-9, 11-7, 10-12, 11-3) to reserve her place in the final.
Notably one round earlier, Amy Wang had beaten the Slovak Republic’s Tatiana Kukulkova (12-10, 11-2, 5-11, 11-6, 11-9), the player who had caused the biggest shock of the day.
In the second round, she accounted for Japan’s Yuko Kato, the no.2 seed and the player who leads the ITTF World Junior Circuit Girls’ Standings (14-12, 7-11, 11-8, 11-5, 5-11, 10-12, 11-6).
“It is definitely, for me the biggest victory of my career”, said Tatiana Kukulkova who led 9-3 in the sixth game and had held four match points before losing.
“I was so nervous”, added Tatiana Kukulkova, “Yuki Kato is played great, after all she is the best, but I managed to calm down, concentrate and show mental strength.”
Hard fought contests en route to the final, it was the same in the title deciding duel.
She needed the full seven games to beat Japan’s Kana Takeuchi, the top seed (11-9, 7-11, 6-11, 11-9, 2-11, 11-3, 11-7).
In the opposite half of the draw, in the latter stages Kana Takeuchi had beaten Germany’s Janina Kammerer, the no.8 seed, at the quarter-final stage (11-8, 11-8, 11-4, 11-8(, before reserving her place in the final courtesy of success against Russia’s Kristina Kazantseva (11-9, 14-12, 10-12, 11-7, 11-9).
It was the fourth time on the 2016 ITTF World Junior Circuit that Kana Takeuchi had reached a Junior Girls’ Singles final; she won in the Czech Republic; whilst as in Varazdin she was the runner up in Portugal and Spain.