by Simon Daish
Sofia Polcanova had met Korea Republic’s Yang Haeun in world ranking tournaments on three occasions prior to day three of the 2016 Austrian Open, and in all of the previous encounters it was the Austrian player who picked up the win.
Heading into the clash between Polcanova and Yang in the city of Linz the two rivals were separated by 18 places in the seeding table with the home player entering the tie in 29th spot and Yang occupying the No.11 seed position, but yet again it was the lower ranked competitor who came out of the match as the happier player.
The opening game one saw Polcanova make a quick start to the tie, and it seemed that the 22-year-old could do little wrong as she stormed into a 3-0 lead. Then it looked as though Yang would begin to claw her way back into the match with her victory in the fourth end, but Polcanova managed to edge the following game by the closest of margins to seal the four-one win.
Dora Madarasz will be Sofia Polcanova’s Round of 32 opponent after the Hungarian shocked the eighth seed representing Hong Kong, Lee Ho Ching in six ends. The performance from Madarasz at the beginning of the duel was simply stunning, taking the opening two games by a difference of seven points before extending her lead to three-nil.
Lee was now in a tricky situation and couldn’t afford any more slip-ups, so when the Hong Kong player managed to pull two games back of her own the chances of an exciting conclusion to the match looked to be a distinct possibility. However, fresh from winning a Doubles bronze medal at the 2016 European Championships, Madarasz made full use of her good form to bring Lee’s comeback hopes to a halt by taking the sixth game and subsequently moving through to the next stage (11-4, 11-4, 12-10, 6-11, 9-11, 11-7).
There were positive showings from many of the top seeds on the opening day of the main draw with Chinese Taipei’s Cheng I-Ching (first), Japan’s Mima Ito (second) and Doo Hoi Kem of Hong Kong (fourth) all progressing to the last 16 but there was an early exit for the number 3 seed Jeon Jihee (KOR) who suffered a 3-4 upset to Japanese contestant Mizuki Morizono in the round of 64.
Along with Jeon’s early exit the likes of Hungary’s Georgina Pota, sixth seed Shan Xiaona and Hina Hayata were condemned to day three eliminations.
Friday 11th November: Women’s Singles – Main Draw