By Neha Aggarwal
Maki Shiomi heads Junior girls’ singles
The Serbian Junior and Cadet Open commences on 5th October 2016 in the city of Vrnjacka Banja and the attention will be on 16-year old Maki Shiomi of Japan who is the top seeded player in the Junior girls’ section. Ranked number 8 in the Under-18 world rankings, Shiomi is also the lone Japanese contender in the Junior girls’ singles event.
She has been on an impressive run this year winning the ITTF Italian Junior and Cadet Open in March where she beat Miyuu Kihara (JPN) in five games (10-12, 11-6, 11-9, 11-8, 11-8). Later in the year, at the ITTF World Tour Czech Open, she was the surprise runners up in the Women’s Singles event surpassing the likes of Nataliya Partyaka (POL), Silbereisen Kristin (GER) and Hashimoto Honoka (JPN) on her way to the finals.
At Serbia, heading the Junior girls’ singles qualification stage, in group 1, she will play against Menger Andjela (SRB) and Popescu Luiza (ROU) starting at 10:30am local time.
The second seeded in the Junior girls’ singles event is host nation’s Lupulesku Izabela who is currently ranked at number 34 in the under-18 Junior girls’ ranking. Lupulesku has been consistently on duty at the international stage securing a quarter final position at ITTF World Junior Circuits held at Czech, Italy and Poland earlier this year.
At Serbia, she starts with the Junior girls’ qualification stage in group 2 against Said Esin (BUL) and Ettari Simona (ITA) at 10:30am local time.
A total of 34 girls are drawn into 9 groups and will compete in the qualification stage on day one.
Hristova Kalina top seed in Cadet girls’ singles
Competing in her sixth international event this year, Bulgaria’s Hristova Kalina has been seeded number one in the Cadet Girls’s singles event. Ranked number 89 in the Under-15 world ranking this month, Hristova will start her campaign at Serbia with the qualification stage in the Cadet Girls’ singles.
Heading group one, she will play Nikolic Lenka (SRB), Mesetovic Harisa (BIH) and Kovacs-Katona Lilla (SRB) on day one to determine the positions for the knock out stage.
A total of 20 girls will star the Cadet girls’ singles qualification rounds on 8th October 2016 at 12pm local time.