by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Success against expectations for Lin Chia-Hsuan, it was the same for Russia’s Olga Vorobeva as she doused the hopes of the host nation. World ranked no.136, she overcame Hana Matelova in five games (13-11, 11-3, 11-7, 10-12, 11-8).
Wins for lower rated players and there were wins for two players with no world rankings as the round unfolded.
However, by no means could the results be considered upsets; simply an absence from the international scene has caused status to lapse. Both from China, Gu Ruochen who stood at no.46 on the Women’s World Rankings in May 2015, accounted for Russia’s Polina Mikhailova (9-11, 11-3, 11-4, 11-3, 12-10); Yuan Yuan, silver medallist at the 2016 Asian Junior and Cadet Championships, in a close contest eventually overcame Russia’s 16 year old Mariia Tailakova (11-7, 10-12, 11-8, 9-11, 7-11, 11-3, 11-8).
Success for China but there were defeats; Zhang Zhao suffered at the hands of Poland’s Natalia Partyka, ranked no.66 (11-9, 11-8, 11-7, 8-11, 11-8); in a closely fought five games encounter, Huang Yingqi experienced defeat at the hands of Germany’s Nina Mittelham (8-11, 14-12, 3-11, 9-11, 11-4, 12-10, 11-5). Presently on the Women’s World Rankings, Nina Mittelham is at no.123, Huang Yingqi at no.221.
Meanwhile, in the remaining preliminary round Women’s Singles qualification contests; matters advanced as ranking advised.
Notably, Japan’s Miyu Maeda, Mizuki Morizono and Asuka Sasao all booked main draw places, as did Britt Eerland of the Netherlands, Italy’s Debora Vivarelli and Chinese Taipei’s Huang Yi-Hua.
Likewise, not to be overshadowed, Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz and Croatia’s Mateja Jeger also reserved places in the opening round.