05 Dec 2016

Four Serbian contestants are still in with a chance of making the Girls' Singles main draw at the Sun International 2016 World Junior Championships with all four of the European country's representatives still able to achieve a top two finish.

There were victories for Serbia's Izabela Lupulesku, Dragana Vignjevic and Sabina Surjan in the qualifying group afternoon session on Sunday 4th December, and while Tijana Jokic lost her match the possibility of a spot in the next round is still very much alive.

by Simon Daish

Izabela Lupulesku went into the afternoon session in a positive mood having won her opening tie against Puerto Rico’s Gabriela Diaz in the morning on day five, and the Serbian competitor would go on to celebrate further success as she managed to secure her spot in the main draw with her second victory in group 4.

Players finishing in either first or second place in each group will progress to the second round of the competition and Izabela Lupulesku guaranteed her position in the main draw with a fantastic showing against Canada’s Justina Yeung (11-3, 11-7, 11-6, 11-3) to move top of the group with four points.

Group 12 saw a thrilling battle unfold between Serbia’s Dragana Vignjevic and Chen Ying-Chen of Chinese Taipei as seven ends were required to find a winner.

Chen Ying-Chen made the stronger start in the tie and heading into the fourth game the Chinese Taipei player held a 1-2 lead. The capture of three successive games for Dragana Vignjevic, however, saw the Serbian athlete complete a wonderful comeback win (11-7, 5-11, 5-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-5) and success in her remaining encounter will see Vignjevic finish top of the group.

Another Serbian player who is just one win away from taking first place in her qualifying group is Sabina Surjan, who backed up her earlier victory in the day with a triumph over Germany’s Caroline Hajok in the second round of group matches (11-4, 12-10, 11-4, 11-6).

While there were positive results for three of the Serbian representatives, Tijana Jokic didn’t enjoy the same outcome as her fellow compatriots after she suffered a straight games defeat to Wong Chin Yau of Hong Kong (10-12, 7-11, 7-11, 4-11). But a win in the evening session for Tijana Jokic will be enough to send the Serbian through to the main draw.

Qualification for the main draw has been secured for Izabela Lupulesku and the evening session will determine whether or not it will be the full quartet of Serbian players who will compete in the second stage of the Girls’ Singles event in Cape Town, South Africa.

Sun International 2016 World Junior Championships: Day Five Quotes

World Junior Championships Sabina Surjan Izabela Lupulesku Tijana Jokic Dragana Vignjevic

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