11 Mar 2017

France represented by Guillaume Alcayde and Fabio Rakotoarimanana emerged as the partnership to cause the biggest surprise in the first stage of the Cadet Boys’ Team event on Friday 10th March at the 2017 Italian Junior and Cadet Open in Lignano; in the counterpart Cadet Girls’ Team competition that honour belonged to sisters Joanna and Rachel Sung of the United States.

Both partnerships ended the day in first places in the respective groups in events where only the outfits ending the day in top spot advanced to the knock-out stage.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

The no.15 seeds, Guillaume Alcayde and Fabio Rakotoarimanana, after recording a three-nil win in opposition to the Czech Republic outfit formed by Simon Belik, Dalibor Skopal and Filip Vybiral, the no.9 seeds, recorded the same margin of victory when facing the top seeded Hungarian outfit comprising Csaba Andras and Oliver Both.

Impressive from the French duo, it was the same from the Americans who started proceedings as the no.9 seeds. Star of the show was Rachel Sung; she remained unbeaten throughout.

In the opening contest against Italy ‘C’, she accounted for Gaia Smargiassi (11-9, 11-4, 12-10) and Ariana Barani (11-9, 11-7, 11-4); whilst partnering Joanna Sung to doubles success (11-9, 11-8, 8-11, 11-9). The one win for the Italians in a three-one defeat was recorded by Arianna Barani; in the opening match of the contest she beat Joanna Sung (15-13, 11-6, 11-3).

A three-one win against Italy ‘C’ was no great surprise; the success by the same margin on the next visit to the table in opposition to Hungary, the no.3 seeds, was an upset.

Dari Helga gave the Hungarians the ideal start by beating Joanna Sung in five games (11-3, 11-3, 6-11, 8-11, 11-6) but enter Rachel Sung and the tide turned. She accounted for Viola Phan (11-1, 17-15, 11-4) before partnering Joanna Sung to success over Veronika Menko and Viola Phan (11-6, 11-4, 13-11) and concluding matters with victory in opposition Helga Dari (11-4, 10-12, 11-6, 11-7).

Day Three: action from the 2017 Italian Junior and Cadet Open

Surprise first places and there was one more in the Cadet Boys’ Team event, Italy ‘B’ with Marco Cappuccio and Andrea Puppo on duty remained unbeaten to secure first place in their group.

Occupying the no.8 seeded place in the tournament, the crucial engagement was the three-one win in opposition to Norway’s Alexander Fransson and Borgar Haug.

Andrea Puppo beat both Alexander Fransson (11-6, 11-9, 11-7) and Borgar Haug (6-11, 11-9, 13-11, 11-6), whilst Marco Cappuccio also accounted for Borgar Haug (6-11, 11-13, 11-8, 11-7, 11-8). The one win for Alexander Fransson and Borgar Haug was secured in the doubles, a full distance verdict being the order of proceedings (11-9, 7-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-5).

Unexpected first places but for the other leading outfits it was first place.

Italy ‘A’, the no.2 seeds in the Cadet Boys’ Team event with Matteo Gualdi and John Oyebode on duty topped their group as did the next team combinations in the order of merit. It was first place for Portugal’s Tiago Li, Ricardo Carreia and Gonçalo Gomes; as it was for Belgium Adrien Rassenfosse, Nicolas Degros and Lewis Laffineur.

Meanwhile, in the Cadet Girls’ Team competition it was first place for the top two teams.

Romania, selecting from Luciana Mitrofan, Iona Singeorzan, Denisa Uritu and Elena Zaharia topped their group. Likewise, it was pole position for the French trio comprising Lou Frete, Cloe Chomis and Lucie Mobarek; also for Moldova’s Natalia Brinza and Valentina Brinza, the no.4 seeds.

Play in the Cadet Boys’ Team and Cadet Girls’ Team events conclude on Saturday 11th March.

Day Two: 2017 Italian Junior and Cadet Open
Photos: Domenico Vallorini

World Junior Circuit 2017 Italian Junior & Cadet Open Rachel Sung Fabio Rakotoarimanana Guillaume Alcayde Joanna Sung

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