11 Feb 2017

Eight groups in the initial phase of the Junior Girls’ Team event at the 2016 Czech Junior and Cadet Open in Hodonin, a competition in which there was minimal margin for error with only the outfits finishing in first places in their respective groups advancing to the main draw; when play concluded on Friday 10th February, just one surprise name had reserved a quarter-final place.

Slovenia represented by Katarina Strazar, Ana Tofant and Aleksandra Vovk emerged in first place in their group contrary to expectations.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

The no.10 seeds, as anticipated, they beat the Czech Republic ‘C’ Team trio comprising Tereza Pytlikova, Anna Matejovska and Tereza Pytlikova by three matches to nil.

Success in the opening contest clearly boosted confidence; in their second fixture of the day, they overcame the Polish outfit formed by Julia Slazak, Anna Wegrzyn and Agata Zakrzewska, the no.5 seeds.

A three matches to one win was the outcome with Ana Tofant the mainstay of victory. She recovered from a two games to nil deficit to beat Julia Slazak (6-11, 6-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-7), before bringing matters to a conclusion by overcoming Anna Wegrzyn in a second hard fought full distance encounter (7-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-9, 11-3).

Day Three at the 2017 Czech Junior and Cadet Open

The remaining win for the Slovenians was recorded by Katarina Strazar; in the third match of the fixture, she defeated Agata Zakrzewska (14-12, 11-7, 4-11, 11-3). The one win for Poland was clinched in the opening match of the engagement when Anna Wegrzyn defeated Aleksandra Vovk (11-7, 11-4, 11-4).

Defeat for the fifth seeds and thus no place in the main draw; there were no such pitfalls for the top three outfits.

Selecting from the quartet of Yuko Kato, Miyu Nagasaki, Maki Shiomi and Kana Takeuchi; top place in the group for the top seeds was duly secured.

Likewise, Serbia ‘A’ with Tijana Jokic, Sabina Surjan and Dragana Vignjevic, next in the order of merit, reserved their place in the main draw, as did the third seeded outfit comprising Ukraine’s Solomiya Brateyko, who joined forces with the Belarus duo of Nadezhda Bogdanova and Marharyta Baltusdhite.

Play in the Junior Girls’ Team event concludes on Saturday 11th February.

Day Three: Day Three: 2017 Czech Junior and Cadet Open
Photos: Czech Table Tennis Association / Jan Brychta

World Junior Circuit 2017 Czech Junior & Cadet Open Anna Wegrzyn Aleksandra Vovk Katarina Strazar Julia Slazak Ana Tofant Agata Zakrzewska

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