04 May 2017

Present earlier this year at the ITTF Europe Top 16 Cup in Antibes and more recently in Slovenia but with no great headline making success; Stéphanie Loeuillette was the player to excel as matters progressed in the lower half of the draw in the Women’s Singles event at the 2017 ITTF Challenge Zagreb Open on the early afternoon of Thursday 4th May.

The 24 year old left hander, who had been required to compete in the two day qualification tournament, accounted for Russia’s Polina Mikhailova, the no.5 seed (11-4, 7-11, 7-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-7).

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Success contrary to status, it was also success contrary to past results.

They had met on two previous occasions, both meetings on the ITTF World Tour, both verdicts finishing in favour of Polina Mikhailova. In 2013 she had won in Belarus, the following year in Sweden.

An eye catching performance from Stéphanie Loeuillette but if anyone caught the eye it was Korea’s 12 year old Shin Yubin; also a qualifier, she overcame the host nation’s Mateja Jeger, the no.31 seed (11-9, 11-9, 7-11, 11-6, 16-18, 11-4).

Defeat for Mateja Jeger against the odds, it was the same for her colleague Mirela Durak, the no.32 seed; she was beaten by India’s Madhurika Patkar (11-1, 11-7, 12-10, 14-12).

Success against expectations for India, conversely there was the opposite scenario; Manika Batra, the no.20 seed, experienced defeat at the hands of Russia’s 16 year old Mariia Tailakova (11-7, 7-11, 11-7, 8-11, 11-8, 11-6).

Wins contrary to expectations and there was one more as play in the lower of the first round of the Women’s Singles event came to a conclusion; Hungary’s Mercedes Nagyvaradi accounted for Switzerland’s Rachel Moret, the no.25 seed (6-11, 11-8, 11-13, 16-14, 11-7, 12-10).

Five surprises but that was not the scenario for three prominent names. Japan’s Honoka Hashimoto, the no.2 seed, beat Russia’s Olga Vorobeva (11-7, 11-8, 11-6, 7-11, 11-5); Sweden’s Li Fen, the no.2 seed, overcame Korea’s Lee Eunhye (11-8, 8-11, 15-13, 11-8, 9-11, 11-8), whilst Saki Shibata, like Honoka Hashimoto from Japan, ended the progress of Hungary’s Krisztina Ambrus (11-7, 12-10, 11-9, 11-6).

Play in the second round of the Women’s Singles event continues later in the day.

Challenge Series 2017 Zagreb (Croatia) Open Polina Mikhailova Shin Yubin Mariia Tailakova Madhurika Patkar Mercedes Nagyvaradi Stéphanie Loeuillette

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