by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Defeat for Nina Mittelham but she was not the only notable name to experience defeat at the first hurdle of the Under 21 Women’s Singles competition.
Furthermore, there was more success against the odds for Belgium and more disappointment for Germany; for the former Lisa Lung excelled, for the latter Wan Yuan suffered.
Lisa Lung accounted for Hungary’s Bernadett Balint, the no.9 seed; she emerged successful in a full distance five games encounter determined by the minimal two point margin (5-11, 12-10, 9-11, 11-8, 11-9). Meanwhile, Wan Yuan experienced defeat in three straight games when facing Croatia’s Andrea Pavlovic (11-4, 13-11, 11-7).
The end of the road for three seeds, it was journey’s end for three more.
Japan’s Kana Takeuchi, the no.6 seed, was beaten by Korea’s Shin Yubin (11-6, 11-9, 7-11, 11-4), Ji Eunchae like Shin Yubin from Korea and the no.7 seed, lost to Oceane Guisnel of France (11-9, 11-7, 11-4), whilst Russia’s Ekaterina Guseva, the no.12 seed, suffered at the hands of Thailand’s Jinnipa Sawettabut (11-7, 11-8, 11-9).
Surprise upon surprise but the top two names on duty in the Under 21 Women’s Singles event did survive, as did the player who earlier this year emerged victorious at the European Under 21 Championships in Sochi.
Japan’s Saki Shibata, the top seed, beat Hungary’s Leonie Hartbrich (11-8, 11-6, 11-6); Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz, the no.2 seed, accounted for Serbia’s Sabina Surjan (7-11, 13-11, 11-7, 11-6), whilst Chantal Mantz, the winner in Sochi and the no.4 seed, redressed the balance for Germany.
“I just had time to practise for two to three weeks after my arm injury; Slovenia is my first tournament since I recovered. It was a good match and I felt well, it will be difficult but hopefully I can reach the final.” Chantal Mantz
She beat Croatia’s Dorina Srebrnjak (11-4, 12-14, 11-5, 11-7).