by Simon Daish
Katsiaryna Baravok put in a fine effort in her opening group stage encounter, as she took on Serbian opponent Dragana Vignjevic.
While Katsiaryna Baravok made the brighter start to the match, the momentum quickly shifted against her with Dragana Vignjevic recovering from two games down to draw the tie level.
Yet, the Serbian player would fail to pick up another game win to her name as Baravok claimed back-to-back ends to leave Vignjevic stunned (12-10, 11-7, 9-11, 3-11, 11-9, 12-10).
Alina Arlouskaya also registered a positive result in Group 16 fending off the challenge of Chinese Taipei’s Lee Yu-Peng (7-11, 10-12, 11-8, 11-5, 11-9, 11-8) however, there were disappointments for other Belarusian contestants as Daria Trigolos, Alina Nikitchanka and Nadezhda Bogdanova all lost out in the opening round of matches.
Poland has one representative involved in Women’s Singles qualifying action, and much to the country’s delight Kinga Stefanska came through her first match with little to no trouble.
Kinga Stefanska prevailed against Bulgarian competitor Kristina Vramencalieva in straight games (11-8, 11-9, 11-5, 11-7), making the perfect opening to her qualification campaign.
The sole Russian contestant involved in the morning session of play was Valentina Sabitova, who as expected also came through her opening fixture with no issues.
Once again the host nation suffered a setback as Valentina Sabitova proved too strong for home player Nadya Ubcheva (11-5, 11-5, 11-6, 11-3), leaving the Bulgarian representative in fourth position in the group after one match.
Disappointment for Bulgaria as all nine of the country’s competitors suffered defeats in the opening round fixtures, but can the host nation bounce back?
Women’s Singles qualification resumes with afternoon session action on Tuesday 15th August.