by Simon Daish
Swedish competitor Linda Bergstrom entered the match sitting over 30 places below Russia’s Sabitova in the world rankings table (November 2016), and for the first half of the tie it looked as though the favourite for the victory, Sabitova would emerge from the match as victor.
Despite falling a game behind, Sabitova looked more than comfortable in her ability to pull off the win and three successful games in a row for the Russian contestant saw her take a commanding three-one lead in the best of seven games encounter.
Bergström was down- but not out- and a strong effort from the Swede soon brought the match level and a decider was required. Neither player was able to find her way to the win after the opening 20 points of the seventh game, however, Sabitova eventually met her exit as Bergström edged the encounter four-three (11-7, 3-11, 2-11, 8-11, 11-3, 11-8, 12-10) guaranteeing her spot in the main event.
Besides Linda Bergström the other victorious players competing in the preliminary round represented Asian countries: Eka So and Mizuki Morizono were the two Japanese competitors to progress from the round, while Chinese Taipei’s Lin Chia-Chih won across five games over Serbia’s Andrea Todorovic.
Two more players from Hong Kong have made their passage to the Round of 64 as Ng Wing Nam and Mak Tze Wing joined their four fellow compatriots in the main competition, following positive results against Chinese Taipei’s Lin Po-Hsuan and France’s Laura Gasnier respectively.
Prior to the preliminary round there were more participants who managed to advance with solid performances in the qualifying group stage: Russia’s Maria Dolgikh defeated Oceane Guisnel of France to seal the top spot in group six, Sarah De Nutte of Luxembourg faced little difficulty in group 24 and Ukraine’s Ganna Gaponova managed to win her group without conceding a single game.
Thursday 10th November: Women’s Singles – Qualification Group Stages
Thursday 10th November: Women’s Singles – Preliminary Round