08 Oct 2016

Success came the way of the host nation on the fourth day of play, Saturday 8th October, at the 2016 Serbia and Junior Cadet Open in Vrnjacka Banja; both the Junior Girls’ Team and Cadet Girls’ Team titles were secured.

The trio comprising Tijana Jokic, Izabela Lupulesku and Dragana Vignjevic emerged victorious in the former; in the latter the top honours were bestowed on the shoulders of Reka Bezeg and Kalina Hristova.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Places reserved in the penultimate round following success in the group stage of proceedings one day earlier; Tijana Jokic, Izabela Lupulesku and Dragana Vignjevic were in no mood for charity.

Occupying the top seeded position in the event, the Serbians recorded a three matches to nil win in opposition to their Serbia ‘B’ Team colleagues Ana Aleksandric, Edina Benko and Andjela Menger, before recording the same margin of victory in the final. They showed no mercy when confronting the outfit formed by Portugal’s Raquel Andrade who joined forces with Nadezhda Bogdanova of Belarus and Norway’s Ilka Doval.

Izabela Lupulesku gave her team the perfect start by beating Nadezhda Bogdanova (11-1, 11-7, 11-3), before Tijana Jokic overcame Ilka Doval (11-5, 11-6, 11-8) and Dragana Vignjevic ended matters by accounting for Raquel Andrade (12-10, 11-5, 11-5).

Success and it was success against an outfit in form; the no.3 seeds, at the semi-final stage, the international trio had beaten the second seeded Romanian formation of Andreea Clapa, Andreea Hudusan and Mihaela Plaeasu by three matches to nil.

A most impressive performance in the Junior Girls’ Team event; it was the same in the Cadet Girls’ Team competition.

Star of the show was Radmila Tominjak. At the semi-final stage against Serbia ‘B’, she beat Danijela Karkusova (11-9, 11-7, 9-11, 11-8) whilst combining with Reka Bezeg to secure the doubles at the expense of Lilla Kovacs-Katona and Anna Fejos (11-8, 11-9, 9-11, 11-5).

Later in the final in opposition to Bulgaria ‘A’, in a second three matches to one victory she overcame both Kalina Hristova (11-7, 7-11, 11-4, 11-6) and Kalina Hristova (10-12, 11-1, 9-11, 11-6, 11-6).

The remaining wins for the champions elect came from Reka Bezeg; against Serbia ‘B’ she accounted for Danijela Karkusova (17-15, 11-3, 11-4), in opposition to Bulgaria, she defeated Kalina Hristova (11-7, 7-11, 11-4, 11-4).

Meanwhile one success for Serbia ‘B’ was recorded by Lilla Kovacs-Katona who beat Reka Bezeg by the very narrowest of margins in the deciding fifth game (7-11, 12-10, 11-7, 7-11, 12-10); for Bulgaria it was in the doubles when Kalina Hristova and Ivet Ilieva recorded a four games win (12-14, 11-5, 11-6, 11-9).

In the counterpart semi-final, Kalina Hristova and Ivet Lilieva had beaten the combination on Serbia’s Danijela Bosika and Luiza Popescu by three matches to nil.

Team events concluded, matters come to a close on Sunday 9th October with the Cadet Girls’ Singles and Cadet Girls’ Doubles events.

2016 Serbia Junior and Cadet Open: Main Draw – Junior Boys’ Team event
2016 Serbia Junior and Cadet Open: Main Draw – Junior Girls’ Team event
2016 Serbia Junior and Cadet Open: Main Draw – Cadet Boys’ Team event
2016 Serbia Junior and Cadet Open: Main Draw – Cadet Girls’ Team event

World Junior Circuit Serbia Junior and Cadet Open Izabela Lupulesku Tijana Jokic Dragana Vignjevic