by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Names as expected but the names of Chinese Taipei’s Liang Jing-Jing, Portugal’s Celia Silva, Japan’s Yumeo Soma and Germany’s Franziska Schreiner in pole position were not to be anticipated.
Liang Jing-Jing very much led the line; no current world ranking, she caused a major upset by beating Lucy Gauthier of France, named at no.48 on the current Under 18 Girls’ World Rankings (11-6, 14-12, 9-11, 7-11, 11-5), a win that signalled the end of the road for the French teenager.
In her opening contest, she had lost to Portugal’s Raquel Martins (11-7, 9-11, 11-9, 6-11, 11-5); Liang Jing-Jing duly remained unbeaten to top the group with Raquel Martins in second spot and Lucie Gauthier in third position.
Players finishing in first and second positions in each group advanced to the main draw.
Similarly, it was third place for the Czech Republic’s Zdena Blaskova, listed at no.50 on the Under 18 Girls’ World Rankings and the fifth highest on initial phase duty, she was beaten by both Portugal’s Celia Silva (11-9, 11-6, 12-10) and Hungary’s Fanni Harasztovich (4-11, 11-8, 11-9, 8-11, 11-8).
Celia Silva, who in her second match of the day had suffered against Rachel Gerarts of the Netherlands (12-10, 6-11, 8-11, 11-4, 11-4) duly topped the group by virtue of the fact that she had accounted for Fanni Harasztovich in her opening match (11-6, 11-6, 11-6). Celia Silva and Fanni Harasztovich ended the day with two wins each, for Zdena Blaskova and Rachel Gerarts, the two having met in their opening encounter with the former the winner (11-9, 11-8, 11-3), it was one win each.
In such cases the matches between the two players determine the outcome; thus Celia Silva finished in first place ahead of Fanni Harasztovich with Zdena Blaskova third and Rachel Gerarts in fourth spot.
First place against the odds for Liang Jing-Jing and Celia Silva; it was the same for Yumeno Soma and Franziska Shreiner.
No current world ranking, Yumeno Soma beat Nadezhda Bogdanova of Belarus, listed at no.52 (11-5, 11-9, 7-11, 9-11, 11-7); Franziska Shreiner, named at no.122 accounted for the Czech Republic’s Katerina Cechova, rated at no.65 (11-9, 12-10, 11-5).
Yumeno Soma and Franziska Shreiner both remained unbeaten, for Nadezhda Bogdanova, the sixth highest rated on duty and Katerina Cechova, the eighth highest listed, it was their only reverse.
Thus second place and progress to the main draw was the end result.
Photos: Alvaro Diaz