by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
She faces China’s Li Jiayi, a player yet to make her mark on the international scene but in 2010 on the ITTF World Junior Circuit, the runner up in the Girls’ Singles event in both Taiyuan and Hong Kong. Additionally, she was a regular member of the Ordos Team in the recent 2016 Chinese Women’s Super League,
Undoubtedly the 23 year old is no stranger to competing against high level adversaries and against the defensive skills of the likes of Li Jia, she is no outsider.
Similarly, Russia’s Polina Mikhailova, the no.8 seed, faces a Chinese qualifier, a most formidable opponent; she confronts Che Xiaoxi, the winner of the Women’s Singles event at the 2015 Universiade.
European defensive players against Chinese adversaries, the player of that art who faces the most stringent task is Alina Arlouskaya of Belarus; in round one, she confronts Chen Meng, the top seed.
Also, in the first round of the Men’s Singles event, eyes focus very much on Chinese qualifiers.
Shang Kun meets Austria’s Stefan Fegerl, the no.6 seed; Lin Gaoyuan opposes Germany’s Benedikt Duda, the no.14 seed, whilst Yan An opposes Panagiotis Gionis of Greece, the no.12 seed.
Worthy adversaries, it is the same for Hong Kong’s Jiang Tianyi, the winner in 2015 but this year required to negotiate the preliminary stages. One of the world’s most improved players in that two year period awaits; he confronts Brazil’s Hugo Calderano, the no.7 seed.
Meanwhile, Vladimir Samonsov of Belarus, the top seed in the Men’s Singles event faces Frenchman, Quentin Robinot, Chinese Taipei’s Chuang Chih-Yuan, the no.2 seed, confronts Germany’s Ruwen Filus.
Visitors of high class but for the host nation, eyes will focus very much on Adam Pattantyus in the Men’s Singles event; whilst in the Women’s Singles competition it will be Georgina Pota, Dora Madarasz and Szandra Pergel.
In the Men’s Singles opening round, Adam Pattantyus, the no.16 seed, confronts the Czech Republic’s Tomas Konecny; Geogina Pota, the no.5 seed, also faces Czech opposition in the opening round of the Women’s Singles event, she meets Renata Strbikova. Dora Madarasz the no.16 seed, opposes Britt Eerland of the Netherlands.
Seeding suggests home wins, for Szandra Pergel it is different; she had to negotiate the qualification stage. In the first round, she plays China’s Chen Xingtong, the no.14 seed.