by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Notably last year, on the ITTF World Junior Circuit, she enjoyed success in her native country, winning the Junior Girls’ Singles title but if that success is to be repeated in Spa; she will need to produce her best form.
Next in line in the order of merit is the host nation’s Lisa Lung, a player who like Archana Girish Kamath has been most active on this year’s international scene and has enjoyed notable success.
At the European Under 21 Championships staged in early February in the Russian city of Wuzi, she reached the semi-final stage of the Women’s Singles event, losing to the eventual runner up, Germany’s Wan Yuan.
The leading names and both can breathe a sigh of relief as they peruse the entry list; there are no players from Japan on duty; on more than one occasion this year, the Land of the Rising Sun has proved their nemesis.
Archana Girish Kamath was beaten by Sakura Mori in the Women’s Singles event at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour India Open; whilst at the Challenge Series tournament in Thailand, Maki Shiomi ended her hopes in both the Women’s Singles and Under 21 Women’s Singles events.
Somewhat similarly on the Challenge Series, in Belarus, Lisa Lung experienced a Women’s Singles defeat at the hands of Hitomi Sato; in the Under 21 Women’s Singles competition she was beaten by Kyoka Kato.
No Japanese adversaries but there are most worthy opponents for the top two seeds; Amy Wang of the United States is the no.3 seed, Croatia’s Andrea Pavlovic is the no.4 seed.
Earlier this year, Amy Wang reached the quarter-finals of the Girls’ Singles event at the ITTF World Cadet Challenge; Andrea Pavlovic progressed to the same round at the Italian Junior and Cadet Open.
Play commences with the Junior Boys’ Singles and Junior Girls’ Singles events.