by Simon Daish
Daniela Moura was one of two triumphant Portuguese players in the qualification round of the Junior Girls’ Singles event to ensure that the host nation has four competitors in the opening round of the main draw.
Facing Céline Credaro of Switzerland in the evening session of play, Daniela Moura took full advantage of the home support and emerged successful across four games (11-4, 6-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-6, 11-9).
The other host nation contestant to prevail in the qualification stage was Vitoria Santos, who came out on top in her encounter with Austria’s Teresa Oppelz (11-9, 11-6, 8-11, 11-4, 11-7) to join fellow Portuguese compatriots Daniela Moura, Raquel Martins and Alexandra Pisco in the Round of 128.
Estonia will be represented in the main draw after Aleksandra Kuprikova pulled off a thrilling comeback win in her qualification tie.
Dutch opponent Heleen Hop looked the odds on favourite to progress beyond the qualifying round after gaining a three games to one lead against Aleksandra Kuprikova, but the Estonian player fought back and her capture of the following three ends resulted in a dramatic 3-4 victory (7-11, 11-6, 11-9, 12-10, 8-11, 8-11, 7-11).
One of the strongest performing countries in the qualification round was Armenia, as three of the nation’s competitors came through their matches unscathed.
Diana Khojagoryan managed to squeeze over the finish line in a seven games battle against Hungary’s Dorottya Tolgyes (13-11, 11-5, 11-5, 6-11, 8-11, 5-11, 11-8), while Armine Petrosyan and Meri Hovhannisyan claimed positive results against Neratzia Mytakidou (7-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-9, 11-8, 13-11) and Thea Nielsen (10-12, 11-8, 11-6, 9-11, 11-6, 12-10) of Greece and Denmark respectively.
Three Junior Girls’ Doubles encounters also featured on the day as six pairings attempted to book their places in the main draw.
Cyprus enjoyed the most success in the qualification matches as both of the country’s partnerships ended up with smiles on their faces.
Marina Mylona and Nefeli Ppali saw off Latvian rivals Diana Afanasjeva and Tereza Druvina by a three games to one scoreline (11-6, 9-11, 11-5, 11-8), while the other Cypriot combination of Konstantina Meletie and Georgia Avraam proved too strong for Scotland’s Alisa Khalid and Rebecca Plaistow (11-7, 11-8, 11-9) to ensure Cyprus’ presence in the Round of 64.
The other qualification fixture produced a promising outcome for Armenia as Diana Khojagoryan and Meri Hovhannisyan condemned Teresa Oppelz and Aurelie Maienburg of Austria to a deciding game defeat (11-6, 9-11, 7-11, 11-6, 11-6).
Stag 2017 European Youth Championships: Results – Wednesday 19th July