by Simon Daish
Last year at the Belarus Open Daria Trigolos missed out on reaching the main draw after she exited at the qualifying group stage, but the 18-year-old player has made a strong start to the 2017 competition in Minsk with her straight games success against Anastasiya Yepifantseva.
Daria Trigolos is joined at the top of Group 9 by Italy’s Debora Vivarelli following her triumph over Krasimira Yovkova of Bulgaria (11-3, 11-9, 11-3, 11-5) and after the opening round of qualifying matches Trigolos is confident that she can go on to progress from the qualification rounds.
“I’ve never played with this athlete before, and I was definitely ready for the struggle. Nevertheless, my play in this match was tempered and confident. The main goal for me now is to get into the main draw, and then time will show. I’m glad that many strong players are participating in this tournament – this means I can get a great deal of experience from playing with them”, Daria Trigolos.
Another straight games success for a Belarusian contestant came in Group 8 as Alina Nikitchanka overcame Bulgarian opponent Maria Yovkova without suffering any major problems in the tie (11-2, 11-8, 11-7, 11-4). The other home player to come through her opening match with a win was Hanna Patseyeva after she edged to a seventh game victory over the Czech Republic’s Karin Adamkova (12-14, 12-14, 11-6, 11-7, 11-7, 6-11, 11-6).
Chinese Taipei has two competitors participating in the Women’s Singles qualifying group stage, and both of the country’s players enjoyed opening match successes.
Lin Chia-Hsuan posted a 4-0 scoreline in her Group 11 encounter against Ukraine’s Olena Nalisnikovska (11-5, 11-3, 11-7, 11-7). Lin Po-Hsuan also prevailed over her opponent from Ukraine, defeating Veronika Perebeinos without dropping a game (11-4, 11-9, 11-8, 11-3), and receiving two Group 15 points in the process.
One of Brazil’s rising young stars is Bruna Takahashi, who represented the country at Rio 2016 aged 16. Takahashi has made a positive start to the qualification tournament for the 2017 ITTF Challenge Belgosstrakh Belarus Open beating Oleksandra Tsiupko of Ukraine (11-6, 11-5, 11-7, 11-5) and the Latin American player has high hopes for her campaign in Minsk.
“The match wasn’t very difficult for me. I just played my game, no nerves or anything. My expectations for this tournament are high – I plan to play my maximum and to beat the players who are stronger than me. All in all, the event is just fine, many players are here and the spirit of competition is present as well. It’s the first time I’m in Minsk, and I like the country”, Bruna Takahashi.
Watch the 2017 ITTF Challenge Belgosstrakh Belarus Open unfold, follow the action live with itTV