27 Apr 2017

Korea’s Lee Eunhye, the leading name on duty in the Women’s Singles qualification tournament that precedes the 2017 ITTF Challenge Slovenia Open in Otocec, emerged successful in the group stage of proceedings.

However as matters concluded on Thursday 28th April, there were plenty of surprises.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Chinese Taipei’s Lin Chia-Chih and Alina Arlouskaya of Belarus, the next two names in the order of merit, both had to settle for runners up spot.

Lin Chia-Chih, having beaten Italy’s Chiara Colantoni in her opening contest one day earlier in four straight games (11-3, 11-5, 11-6, 11-5) was beaten by Serbia’s Dragana Vignjevic by a similar margin (11-9, 11-8, 12-10, 11-8), who in her opening contest had lost to Chiara Colantoni in five games (13-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-9).

One win apiece; games ratio decided. It was first place for Dragana Vignjevic (5:4) with Lin Chia-Chih (4:4) and Chiara Colantoni (4:5) the next in line.

Narrow margins; it was exactly the same for Alina Arlouskaya. In her concluding group stage match, she overcame Italy’s Giorgia Piccolin in seven games (13-11, 4-11, 5-11, 11-7, 12-10, 7-11, 11-7), having the previous day being beaten in six games by Belgium’s Nathalie Marchetti (10-12, 11-8, 11-6, 11-6, 2-11, 11-8). Earlier in the opening match in the group Giorgia Piccolin had overcome Nathalie Marchetti in five games (11-9, 6-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-8).

Again, one win each; games ratio determined. It was first place for Giorgia Piccolin (7:5) followed by Alina Arlouskaya (6:7) and Nathalie Marchetti (5:6).

Agonising for Lin Chia-Chih and Alina Arlouskaya for the other names who started proceedings as the highest rated player in the group, it was defeat against hitherto unbeaten opponents.

Japan’s Kana Takeuchi was beaten by Lucie Gauthier of France (13-11, 9-11, 11-5, 11-9, 10-12, 11-6) on a day that did not witness the best of fortunes for her colleagues; all the highest rated in their respective groups.

Stéphanie Loeuillette was beaten by the Czech Republic’s Kristyna Stefcova (15-13, 10-12, 11-9, 3-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-6); Marie Migot suffered at the hands of Ukraine’s Ganna Farladanska (17-15, 11-8, 11-7, 9-11, 11-4), whilst Audrey Zarif lost to Croatia’s Dorina Srebrnjak (4-11, 4-11, 11-7, 8-11, 11-4, 11-3, 11-5).

Likewise, Hungary’s Bernadett Balint was beaten by India’s Pooja Sahasrabudhe (11-6, 11-1, 12-10, 11-8); Russia’s Ekaterina Guseva lost to Puerto Rico’s Melanie Diaz (11-4, 9-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-1, 11-7).

Surprise first places and as the day concluded there were two more; Bosnia-Herzegovina’s Emina Hadziahmetovic beat the Czech Republic’s Katerina Tomanovska (12-10, 12-10, , 11-7, 11-8); India’s Madhurika Patkar overcame Serbia’s Izabela Lupulesku (11-9, 9-11, 11-6, 17-15, 11-8).

Outcomes against expectations but for five of the top eight names it was first place in the group. In addition to Lee Eunhye, colleague Ji Eunchae alongside Russia’s Olga Vorobeva, Laura Gasnier of France and Sweden’s Linda Bergström all secured group first places.

Players finishing in first places in each of the 30 groups plus two “Lucky Losers”, drawn at random from the second placed players, join the 32 seeds in the main draw.

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Challenge Series 2017 Slovenian Open Giorgia Piccolin Dragana Vignjevic

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