by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Arriving in Zagreb less than eight weeks ago and now with a Croatian passport, the name to note in Otocec is that of Sun Jiayi; the 17 year old who on her first ever appearance in an international tournament, when she competed last week in Varazdin and reserved the top step of the podium.
She is one of three players on duty the 2017 Slovenia Junior and Cadet Open who have won an ITTF World Junior Circuit Girls’ Singles title this year; the others are Chinese Taipei’s Su Pei-Ling, Amy Wang of the United States and India’s Yashini Sivasankar.
Su Pei-Ling, who won in Slovakia, is the no.2 behind Thailand’s Jinippa Sawettabut, a player who has yet this year to claim a podium finish; she was a quarter-finalist in both Jordan and Hong Kong. Amy Wang, the winner in Argentina is the no.3 seed with Yashini Sivasankar being considerably further down the order; she is the 24th highest rated player on duty.
Also from India, Archana Girish Kamath is the no.4 seed, followed by Hong Kong’s Wong Chin Yau, Chinese Taipei’s Tsai Yu-Chin and Japan’s Satsuki Odo. The host nation’s Andrea Pavlovic completes the top eight names. All have reached the latter stages on this year’s ITTF World Junior Circuit; Archana Girish Kamath and Andrea Pavlovich both reached the penultimate round in Belgium, as did Wong Chin Yau in France and Satsuki Odo in Spain.
Meanwhile, Tsai Yu-Chin was the runner up last week in Varazdin; she is seeking revenge for her defeat at the hands of Sun Jiayi.
It is the same for Su Pei-Ling and for Wong Chin Yau; both experienced defeat at the hands of the new arrival. Su Pei-Ling was beaten in round two by Sun Jiayi, Wong Chin Yau in the penultimate round.