29 Sep 2017

Competing in Class 10, Poland’s Natalia Partyka and Denmark’s Sophie Walloe, the respective top two seeds and the players who contested the final two years ago when the tournament was staged in Vejle, emerged the first players in the Women’s Singles events at the 2017 European Para Championships in Otocec, Slovenia, to be assured of main draw places.

On Thursday 28th February, both completed their group phase matches unbeaten.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Natalia Partyka beat Hungary’s Bettina Bicsak (11-3, 11-5, 11-5) and Turkey’s Hilal Turkkan (11-6, 11-3, 11-4); Sophie Walloe accounted for Germany’s Marlene Reeg (11-6, 11-5, 11-6) and Romania’s Ioana-Monica Tepelea (11-5, 11-6, 11-9).

Second place in each group and as to who will also progress to the quarter-finals depends on the contests between Bettina Bicsak and Hilal Turkkan, alongside Marlene Reeg and Ioana-Monica Tepelea.

First place for the top two seeds in Class 10 reserved but not for the next two in the order of merit; Israel’s Karmit Dor, the no.3 seed and Croatia’s Mirjana Lucic both experienced defeats.

Karmit Dor overcame Denmark’s Thea Nielsen by the very narrowest of margins (6-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-5, 12-10), before losing to Turkey’s Ümran Ertis (11-4, 11-3, 11-6). Similarly, in a group of four players, Mirjana Lucic, after beating Israel’s Anat Sagy-Sierra (7-11, 11-4, 11-5, 11-8), experienced defeat at the hands of Turkey’s Merve Demir (11-3, 11-5, 11-4). Notably, Merve Demir remains the one unbeaten player in the group. In her opening match she accounted for Ukraine’s Marharyta Saltanovska (11-9, 11-3, 11-6).

The future for Karmit Dor rests out of her hands, the contest between Thea Nielsen and Ümran Ertis will determine the final order; for Mirjana Lucic victory against Marharyta Saltanovska is mandatory to keep hopes alive but the clash involving Merve Demir and Anat Sagy-Sierra could seal her fate.

Surprises in Class 10 and there was almost a surprise in Class 6; in her one and only match of the day, Russia’s Raisa Chebanika, the no.2 seed, needed the full five games to beat Sweden’s Emelie Endre (10-12, 11-5, 11-9, 8-11, 11-7).

However, there were no such problems for the top seed, Ukraine’s Maryna Litvichenko; she duly beat Great Britain’s Felicity Pickard to make the ideal start to her campaign (14-12, 7-11, 11-5, 11-6).

“I’m really pleased with the way I played. I had big chances and the biggest thing was I could see the improvements I’ve made over the summer and I was just trying to put them in place. Obviously there is frustration that I couldn’t consistently do it to win the game but looking back to the last time I played her it is an unbelievable difference so I’ve just got to keep going. It will definitely give me a bit more confidence now and I’ve just got to look forward to the next match and go in there with the same positivity and same belief.” Felicity Pickard

One match played, one success for Maryna Litvichenko, in the remaining events Women’s Singles events, it was the same for the other top seeded players.

Italy’s Giada Rossi (Class 1-2), Sweden’s Anna-Carin Ahlqvist (Class 3) and Serbia’s Borislava Peric-Rankovic (Class 4-5) all made fine starts to their campaigns, as did Kelly Van Zon of the Netherlands (Class 7), Thu Kamkasomphu of France (Class 8) and Russia’s Elena Prokofeeva (Class 11).

Play in Class 9 has yet to start.

2017 European Para Championships: Forthcoming matches and latest results

2017 European Championships: Latest News

2017 European Championships: Daily Bulletin

2017 European Championships: Live Stream

Paralympics Para Table Tennis Natalia Partyka Sophie Walloe

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