17 Nov 2016

Semi-finalist earlier in the year in the Under 21 Women’s Singles event in Belgium, following the conclusion of the opening day of play, Tuesday 15th November, at the 2016 ITTF World Tour Swedish Open in Stockholm, for Germany’s Nina Mittelham, the chances of repeating the feat look bleak.

The door is not completely closed but an inspired performance in her concluding group stage contest on the second day of action is mandatory; a straight games win against the host nation’s Tilda Johansson is the only result that will secure the 19 year old German a place in the main draw.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Only the players finishing in first place in each of the eight groups advance to join the eight seeds in the second stage.

Listed at no.28 on the current Under 21 Women’s World Rankings, the highest rated player on initial stage duty, she was beaten by Katsiaryna Baravok in four games (9-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-7); a player who in the opening contest in the group had experienced a five games defeat at the hands of Sweden’s Tilda Johansson (5-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-8, 11-9).

Katsiaryna Baravok must now wait and watch as Tilda Johansson and Nina Mittelham determine her fate.

Similarly for three further players who started the day as the highest rated player in their respective groups, a main draw place is a forlorn hope. Linda Bergström named at no.52 on the Under 21 Women’s Singles World Rankings, alongside the Chinese Taipei duo of Lin Chia-Hsun and Lin Po-Hsuan all experienced problems. Presently, Lin Chia-Hsuan is named at no.53 in the global order, Lin Po-Hsuan at no.55.

Linda Bergström lost to Korea’s Ji Eunchae (11-7, 11-2, 11-3), who remains the one unbeaten player in the group having also overcome Daria Trigolos of Belarus (11-9, 6-11, 11-5, 3-11, 11-8).

Disappointment for Linda Bergström; it was even more disappointing for Lin Chia-Hsuan. She was beaten by both Japan’s Eka So (11-4, 11-4, 11-6) and by Nadezhda Bogdanova of Belarus (6-11, 3-11, 11-9, 14-12, 11-9).

Eka So, one of the very few female pen-hold grip players, is the one unbeaten player in the group; later in the day she accounted for Marie Migot of France (11-9, 8-11, 11-8, 11-7), the victor earlier in opposition to Nadezhda Bogdanova (12-10, 11-5, 11-6).

Two defeats for Lin Chia-Hsuan; it was one for Lin Po-Hsuan. She was beaten by Korea’s Lee Eunhye (11-7, 11-6, 4-11, 11-5), before recovering to overcome Sweden’s Erika Front (11-6, 11-9, 11-6).

Japan’s Mizuki Morizono, the cousin of Masataka and Misaki Morizono ended the day the one unbeaten player in the group; she accounted for Erika Front (11-9, 11-7, 11-2) and Lee Eunhye (12-10, 11-8, 11-7).

Meanwhile, for the four remaining names who occupied the highest rated position in the group it was a day without defeat; India’s Manika Batra and Thailand’s Tamolwan Khetkhuan alongside the German duo of Chantal Mantz and Wang Yuan enjoyed success.

The first stage of the Under 21 Women’s Singles event concludes on Wednesday 16th November.

The opening day at the 2016 ITTF World Tour Swedish Open

World Tour Swedish Open Nina Mittelham Linda Bergstrom Lin Chia-Hsuan Lin Po-Hsuan

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