by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Notably all started the day as the lowest rated player in their respective groups; the anomaly being Lee Yujin.
Currently, Lee Yujin is listed at no.148 on the Women’s World Rankings but the tournament draw is based on the March listings when the Korean, who celebrated her 24th birthday on Monday 24th April, had no such status.
She received a walk-over against the absent Nicole Trosman of Israel before accounting for Russia’s Maria Malanina, ranked no.179 (11-7, 11-9, 11-6, 11-5).
First place for Lee Yujin; likewise for Huang Yu-Wen it was only a moderate surprise. She is listed at no.193 on the present day Women’s World Rankings.
Impressively she overcame Hong Kong’s Liu Qi, named at no.210 (11-8, 8-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-7), before in a full distance seven games encounter accounting for Ukraine’s Ievgeniia Vasylieva by the very narrowest of margins (6-11, 5-11, 11-9, 12-10, 11-8, 8-11, 11-9). Ievgeniia Vasylieva stands at no.188 on the Women’s World Rankings.
Perhaps unexpected outcomes; the first places gained by Lam Yee Lok, Huang Yu-Chiao and Judith Liu were much greater surprises, no member of the trio hold a current World ranking.
Lam Yee Lok beat Belgium’s Lisa Lung (4-11, 11-9, 11-8, 12-10, 11-5) followed by Oceane Guisnel of France (11-8, 12-10, 11-13, 11-7, 11-6); Huang Yu-Chiao accounted for Serbia’s Sabina Surjan (1-11, 14-12, 11-6, 12-10, 9-11, 11-5) and Hungary’s Mercedes Nagyvaradi (6-11, 10-12, 11-4, 11-7, 11-8, 8-11, 11-9).
Presently on the Women’s World Rankings, Oceane Guisnel is at no.203, Lisa Lung at 184; Mercedes Nagyvaradi is at no.204, Sabina Surjan at no.235.
Against the odds from Lam Yee Lok and Huang Yu-Chiao; it was the same from Judith Liu. She beat Thailand’s Jinnipa Sawettabut, ranked no.217 (6-11, 7-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-6, 11-5) and India’s Ankita Das, named at no.207 (11-8, 11-7, 11-7, 11-8) to reserve first place in her group.
Meanwhile, amongst the leading names, on the one required visit to the table, Korea’s Lee Eunhye beat Mousumi Das, like Ankita Das from India (11-7, 11-9, 11-7), whilst Chinese Taipei’s Lin Chia-Chih accounted for Italy’s Chiara Colantoni (11-3, 11-5, 11-6, 11-5).
Likewise, Russia’s Olga Vorobeva overcame Nadezhda Bogdanova (9-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-6, 7-11, 8-11, 11-1) but there were problems for Alina Arlouskaya of Belarus; she was beaten by Belgium’s Nathalie Marchetti (10-12, 11-8, 11-6, 11-6, 2-11, 11-8).
However, first place in the group is still an option; in her concluding contest Alina Arlouskaya meets Italy’s Giorgia Piccolin. Pertinently, in the opening match in the group she accounted for Nathalie Marchetti in five games (11-9, 6-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-8).
Play in the Women’s Singles qualification tournament concludes on Thursday 27th April; players finishing in first places in each of the 30 group plus two “Lucky Losers” drawn at random from the second placed players advance to join the 32 seeds in the main draw.