by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
All remained unbeaten; all recorded wins against the highest rated player in the group.
Impressively Gabriela Stepanova beat Moldova’s Natalia Brinza (11-8, 11-7, 11-9). Likewise, Franziska Shreiner overcame Hungary’s Orsolya Feher but had to endure testing times. Maintaining her nerve, she prevailed by the very narrowest of five game margins (9-11, 12-10, 11-1, 6-11, 14-12).
Success for Gabriela Stepanova and Franziska Shreiner against worthy adversaries; it was the same for Dasa Sinkarova and Natacha Koszulap.
Opening day in Lignano
Notably for Natalia Brinza, Orsolya Feher and Annika Lundström it was their one and only defeat; thus second place and progress to the main draw was secured. Alas for Kata Fule, she was also beaten by the host nation’s Terezie Sazimova (13-11, 11-6, 11-7) and thus had to settle for third place in the group and no progress to the second stage.
Otherwise, it was success for the highest rated player in each group with the top four names all enjoying a day without defeat.
It was first place in the group for Serbia’s Dragana Vignjevic, Germany’s Jennie Wolf, Nadezhda Bogdanova of Belarus and Croatia’s Andrea Pavlovic.