By Neha Aggarwal
Samara sails to last 16
The first day of the Seamaster 2016 ITTF Women’s World Cup started with some exciting action as USA’s Wu Yue gave Romania’s Elizabeta Samara a run for her life as she stretched the match to six games. As the fans cheered for Wu, also called “Jennifer” in the US, she proved her arrival in the women’s scene as she caused major problems to Samara. Although Wu lost 2-4, she undoubtedly showed progress and some thrilling moments for the fans in the stands.
Samara on the other hand won both her matches to qualify for the round of 16. She will now compete against Japanese teenage sensation Hirano Miu at 15:40 EST.
Meshref Dina wins hearts
The only successful player from Egypt in recent times, Dina was one player who caught attention on day one. In her first round match in group stage she challenged Georgina Pota at each point. The match was a classic display of close to the table attacks by Dina and unbelievably strong counter attacks from Pota. Dina’s consistency and spiny loops gave Pota a scare. Although Dina lost 1-4 (7-11, 11-9, 13-11, 11-7, 11-8) each point was relished by the audience.
Later in the day, she played against Singapore’s Feng Tianwei, the top seeded women player in the tournament. The scoreline is probably not a true indicator of Dina’s efforts but every point played was fought at her best of the ability. She lost 0-4 (11-9,11-8,11-6,11-5) and thus ends the tournament on a marginally satisfied note.
Sabine Winter’s dream run
She started off the match looking confused and stiff. Unlucky at many instances, Sabine kept her calm. She was competing against Korea’s Yang Haeun, ranked 28 places above her in the world ranking. But yes, rankings do not matter. What matters is being your best on the given day. Sabine, a powerful forehand attacker got her game going after the 4th set when she refused to give up. Trailing 0-3, Sabine Winter went on winning the match 4-3 and proving the fact that “anything is possible”.
She thus moves to the quarter finals where she plays against world number 6 Feng Tianwei. She is confident, prepared and raring to go. Watch her LIVE on ITTF.com/ittf.
Liu Jia too quick for Pota Gerogina
World number 21, Liu Jia kicked off her campaign in the round of 16 against Hungary’s Pota Georgina. Liu, left handed attacker who was way too quick in the execution of her strokes as compared to Pota, sailed past smoothly over the world number 34. She won in five games 11-9, 8-11, 11-9, 11-8,11-9 to book her place in the quarter finals. Lui will now play against the winner of Lily Zhang (USA) and Cheng-I- Ching (TPE) on day two.
As the knock out stage commenced, acton is now heating up in Philadelphia. Matches start at 2:00pm EST and will be aired LIVE on ITTF.com/ittv, ESPN3 and WatchESPN and ESPN App.