by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Likewise, Alina Arlouskaya of Belarus, the leading name on opening day Women’s Singles duty, made the ideal start to her campaign; she accounted for Hungary’s Orsolya Feher in four games (11-7, 11-4, 11-5, 11-6).
It was the same for the next two in the order of merit with Gabriela Feher’s compatriots Krisztina Ambrus and Mercedes Nagyvaradi in form. Krisztina Ambrus beat the host nation’s Agata Zakrzewska (11-8, 8-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-8); and Mercedes Nagyvaradi overcame Slovakia’s Nikoleta Puchovanova (11-7, 11-3, 11-5, 11-6).
Success as anticipated but there were close calls for five players who started the day as the leading names in their respective groups.
Both England’s Kelly Sibley and Croatia’s Mateja Jeger had to recover from three games to nil in arrears before securing victories. Eventually Kelly Sibley beat Ukraine’s Veronika Perebeinos (8-11, 9-11, 11-13, 11-7, 13-11, 11-3, 11-5), Mateja Jeger overcame Poland’s Aleksandra Michalak (8-11, 8-11, 9-11, 11-5, 11-4, 11-7, 11-7).
Equally, India’s Ankita Das and Ukraine’s Ganna Fardalanska alongside Laura Pfeffer of France endured testing times; all were extended the full seven games distance.
Maintaining her focus, Ankita Das beat the host nation’s Angelika Janik (8-11, 11-6, 15-13, 11-6, 5-11, 10-12, 11-7); similarly Ganna Fardalanska overcame Roksana Zalomska, also from Poland (9-11, 9-11, 11-4, 11-7, 8-11, 11-6, 11-7). Meanwhile, Laura Pfeffer defeated a most dangerous adversary. She overcame Croatia’s Sun Jiayi (11-9, 8-11, 6-11, 3-11 13-11, 11-3, 11-5), the winner recently on the ITTF World Junior Circuit on home soil and in Slovenia.
Close calls and there was defeat for one leading name; listed at no.236 on the current Women’s World Ranking list, Kim Vermass of the Netherlands was beaten by Korea’s Choi Moonyoung (11-4, 11-4, 11-5, 11-5).
Earlier Choi Moonyoung had overcome India’s Sreeja Akula (11-5, 11-7, 11-3, 11-6) and thus ended the day as the only player in the qualification stage of the Women’s Singles event assured of first place in the group stage.
Neither Choi Moonyoung not Sreeja Akula own a current world ranking.