by Simon Daish
Romanian player Bernadette Szocs (eighth seed) was taking on a rival who hadn’t dropped a single game across her opening two matches at the Open, as top seed Hitomi Sato entered the tie as the firm favourite for the win.
All seven ends were decided by close margins; the opening two games were edged in deuce by Szocs before she extended her lead to 3-0 with a win in the third end.
Remarkably Szocs looked to be on her way to a straight games victory, however, Sato wasn’t named as the number one seed for nothing and the Japanese teenager eventually found her feet in the tie winning three consecutive ends to level the match at 3-3.
Heading into the deciding seventh game it was anyone’s guess as to who would emerge victorious-going on momentum Hitomi Sato appeared to be a safe bet. However, Bernadette Szocs kept fighting and was rewarded for her efforts with the win (12-10, 13-11, 11-9, 8-11, 10-12, 7-11, 11-8).
Following the conclusion of the match Szocs was pleased to have beaten the top seed, and now has her sights set on a similar outcome against Georgina Pota (Hungary) in the semi-finals:
“What a match! I am very happy with this win against the first seed… The first three sets I was able to win, but then she attacked more and came back. In the seventh set I had to play with no pressure and it worked out just fine… Now I play Georgina Pota in semi-final. The matches against her always very close, but I am confident that I can win” – Bernadette Szocs (Romania).
Georgina Pota reached the last four of the main draw after she saw off Luxembourg’s Sarah De Nutte in straight games.
The other semi-final will be contested by another Romanian Elizabeta Samara who will take on Yui Hamamoto of Japan for a place in the final.
Elizabeta Samara is yet to drop an end in De Haan’s Women’s Singles category, and her 4-0 triumph over Honoka Hashimoto (Japan) has set Samara in good stead for day four’s action.
Yui Hamamoto was rather fortunate to avoid an early exit to Hungary’s Dora Madarasz (4-3) in the last 16, but with Hamamoto (third) seeded just one place behind Samara (second) the match on the final day has all the makings of a spectacle.
Friday 23rd September: Women’s Singles – Main Draw