by Simon Daish
Hungary for Success
Georgina Pota hasn’t enjoyed the greatest year on the World Tour with her Round of 16 exit at the 2016 Czech Open being her best result, and at Rio 2016 she was eliminated in Round 2 of the main draw by Hong Kong’s Doo Hoi Kem.
However, having won the Women’s Singles crown in De Haan two years back, Pota will be one of the favourites for the title at the 2016 Belgium Open and the fourth seed is just one of six Hungarians to make the top 30 seeds.
Szandra Pergel is another Hungarian to have won the Women’s Singles event in De Haan when she overcame Sara Ramirez (Spain) in the 2012 final, and now four years later Pergel (10th seed) is looking for more success in Belgium.
The other representatives from Hungary inside the top 30 seeding places are: Dora Madarasz (12th), Bernadett Balint (22nd), Rita Kertai (28th) and Mercedes Nagyvaradi (29th).
Recent Champions Fight for More Glory
The Women’s Singles draw is packed with strong competitors, including some of the World Tour champions from recent events.
Saki Shibata (Japan) was victorious at the 2016 Belarus Open, beating Viktoria Pavlovich to take her first Senior category title and will enter the competition in De Haan as the number 16 seed.
Monaco’s Yang Xiaoxin, who won gold at the 2016 Czech Open, will also compete at the Belgium Open. Can Yang achieve two titles from the two World Tour tournaments she has competed in during 2016?
Inevitable Triumph for Japan?
Three Japanese players make up the top five seeds in De Haan with another two sitting in the top 15.
Marina Matsuzawa (seventh) could be one of the key players to keep an eye out for at the Open, having pushed world number one Liu Shiwen (China) all the way to the deciding game at the 2016 SheSays China Open.
Ranked above Matsuzawa is Honoka Hashimoto (fifth), Yui Hamamoto (third) and top seed Hitomi Sato, while Kyoka Kato is positioned just below Matsuzawa in 11th spot.