by Simon Daish
The day began with qualification action as every player ranked outside of the top 16 seeding positions was forced to negotiate a qualification group stage in order to reach the main draw.
Six of Poland’s representatives successfully moved through to the Junior Girls’ Singles main draw, and four of those players went on to book their places in the Round of 32.
Julia Slazak, who qualified for the main draw with a second position finish in her group, overcame Nikoleta Puchovanova of the Slovak Republic in her Round of 64 encounter as the second highest ranked Polish competitor in the category cruised to a straightforward victory (11-5, 11-7, 11-2, 10-12, 11-8).
More joy followed for the home spectators as Agata Szczuka and Agata Zakrzewska came through their respective matches against Sweden’s Jennie Edvinsson (8-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-7, 12-10) and Japan’s Honami Nakamori (9-11, 11-4, 15-13, 11-5, 12-10), while another Polish contestant Julia Szymczak defeated Nikita Petrovova of the Czech Republic across seven games (11-4, 12-10, 9-11, 9-11, 11-7, 3-11, 11-8) to progress.
France will have three representatives in the Round of 32 after Leili Mostafavi and Nolwenn Fort prevailed in their matches over Canada’s Joyce Xu (13-11, 11-9, 10-12, 5-11, 11-7, 11-3) and Ivy Liao (11-8, 10-12, 11-4, 7-11, 11-7, 13-11) to join fellow French competitor Lucie Gauthier in the next stage of the competition.
Victories for Chang Ju-Chia and Yu Hsiu-Ting against Joanna Sokolowska (11-3, 10-12, 3-11, 11-9, 12-10, 11-9) and Mihaela Plaeasu, who suffered with injury problems (11-3, 11-0, 11-0, 11-0), will see five Chinese Taipei players contest the Round of 32.
Alongside the Junior Girls’ Singles tournament there was also opening day action from the Junior Girls’ Doubles event.
Arguably one of the standout ties from the Round of 16 came in the lower half of the draw as the Russian pairing of Elizabet Abraamian and Ekaterina Zironova recovered from a two-games-to-one deficit to defeat Belgium’s Natacha Koszulap and Romania’s Mihaela Plaeasu in the deciding game (9-11, 11-3, 7-11, 11-8, 11-2).
There was also somewhat of a surprising exit from the third seeds after the Czech Republic’s Zdena Blaskova and Romania’s Tania Plaian missed out on a quarter-finals spot to the lower ranked Chinese Taipei partnership of Chen Tzu-Ting and Yu Hsiu-Ting (9-11, 1-11, 7-11), as all three of Chinese Taipei’s pairings participating in the round progressed.
Follow the action live on the Official ITTF Channel.
(Photos: Bogdan Pasek)