By Neha Aggarwal
Serbian girls in top form
Ranked number 37 in the Under-18 junior ranking, Serbia’s Izabela Lupulesku showed her dominance as she cruised past the qualification stage in style. In her opening match she defeated Italy’s Simona Ettari in four games (11-8, 7-11, 11-7, 11-6). In the second match against Esin Said (Bulgaria), Lupulesku again was the dominant player as she won in straight games (11-6, 11-4, 11-5).
Thus she secured the top position in group two and progressed to the second stage which will be played in a knock out format. Lupulesku will now play Romania’s Mihaela Plaeasua, ranked no.156 on the Under 18 World Ranking this month. Plaeasu finished number two in group nine to make it to the second stage.
Serbia’s Sabina Surjan, seeded number four in the Junior Girls’ Singles, did not lose a single game in the qualification stage on day one. She beat Kalina Hristova Kalina (Bulgaria), Katerina Rehorkova Katerina (Switzerland) and Harisa Mesetovic Harisa (Bosnia-Herzegovina) in straight games to finish at top stop in group four. She will now play Romania’s Andreea Hudusan in the round of 16 on day two.
Six out of the 16 players that reached the round of 16 are from Serbia. It puts the host nation in a good spot to aim to win medals on home turf if the players continue their winning performances like they did on day one.
No problems for Maki Shiomi
Seeded number one and ranked number eight in the Under 18 world rankings, Japan’s Maki Shiomi continued to dominate in the group stage. In the first match she surpassed Luiza Popescu Luiza (Romania) in straight games (11-5, 11-4, 11-3). The second match against Andjela Menger (Serbis) was also a smooth ride for Shiomi as she again won without breaking a sweat and giving up only nine points in the entire match (11-1, 11-4,11-4).
The Japanese moved to the knock out stage and will now face Serbia’s Nikolet Oros in the round of 16 on Thursday 6th October 2016.
Closest group of the day in the Junior Girls’ Singles event was that involving Belgium’s Margo Degraef.
She beat Romania’s Andreea Hudusan in three straight games (14-12, 15-13, 11-8) but then lost to the host nation’s Marija Stajic in her concluding group stage in five games (13-11, 4-11, 12-10, 3-11, 11-7). However, earlier Marija Stajic had experienced a straight games defeat when facing Andree Hudusan (11-6, 11-6, 11-7).
Thus it was first place for Margo Degraef (5:3), followed by Andreea Hudusan (3:3) and Maija Stajic (3:5).
Junior Girls’ Doubles
The Junior Girls’ Doubles competition started with 16 pairs competing in the knock-out system. The Serbian pair of Izabela Lupulesku and Sabina Surjan, seeded number one, defeated Marija Gnjatic and Harisa Mesetovic (Bosnia-Herzegovina) in straight games (11-5, 11-8, 11-4). They progress to the quarter-finals to be played against the pair of Raquel Andrade (Portugal) and Nadezhda Bogdanova (Belarus).
Second seeded pair of Romania’s Andreea Clapa and Mihaela Plaeasu progressed to the quarter-finals beating host nation’s pair Ivana Perovic and Ksenija Vereb (8-11, 2-11, 11-9, 6-11,). They will now face Edina Benko and Andjela Menger, also from Serbia, in the quarter-finals.