by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Bernadette Szocs, who one day earlier had beaten Alina Nikitchanka in five games (9-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-7, 11-5) concluded matters in second place and thus advanced to the main draw.
Players finishing in first and second positions in each of the 16 groups join the 32 seeds in the main draw of 64 players.
“We do not have any defensive players in Thailand so this was an unusual match for me. I tried to stay calm and take my chances. I played with good variety and patience; that was the key for me. I won many points from my backhand topspin and that was very important too. To qualify for the main event at such a great tournament is really good for me and I am very pleased with my performance so far. Now I will try to play as well I can and fight hard in the main event and see where it takes me”, Jinnipa Sawettabut.
It is the first time that Jinippa Sawettabut has qualified for the main draw in an ITTF World Tour Women’s Singles event; she joins 21 year old elder sister, Suthasini, who is named at no.67 on the current Women’s World Rankings and is the no.29 seed in Stockholm. Clearly Jinnipa is hot on the heels of her elder sister!
“It will be a long time before I’m better the Suthasini”, Jinnipa Sawettabut.
Top place in the group against expectations for Jinnipa Sawettabut, it was exactly the same for her compatriot, Tamolwan Khetkhuan.
Currently, owing to an absence from the international scene, the 19 year old has no World Ranking; having beaten the host nation’s Kristina Zetterström (11-5, 11-8, 9-11, 11-7, 11-7) and Serbia’s Andrea Todorovic (11-5, 11-7, 6-11, 13-11, 14-12), late on the third morning of play, she overcame Canada’s Ioulia Degtiar (11-6, 11-6, 11-4, 11-2).
Surprise first places, there were also surprise further surprise first places. Daria Trigolos of Belarus flew the flag for Europe but it was Asian players who impressed. Against expectations it was top place in the group for Japan’s Mizuki Morizono, Chinese Taipei’s Lin Chia-Hsuan, Japan’s Eka So and Korea’s Park Joohyun.
Play in the main draw commences on Friday 18th November.