31 Oct 2017

Minimal international scene and very much charged with maintaining their country’s tradition of excellence, Korea’s Kim Eunji, Lee Yearam and Kim Haeun were very much the players to attract the attention, as play commenced in the Women’s Singles qualification tournament for the 2017 ITTF Challenge Belgium Open in De Haan.

None the owner of a current world ranking, all three overcame adversaries with such status in their opening encounters.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Kim Eunji accounted for Switzerland’s Rahel Aschwanden in a full distance seven games encounter (11-8, 11-9, 9-11, 11-13, 11-7, 5-11, 11-7).

Meanwhile, in one game less Lee Yearam overcame Romania’s Alina Zaharia (8-11, 12-10, 11-6, 11-7, 10-12, 11-7), whilst in five games it was success for Kim Haeun in opposition to the Czech Republic’s Kristyna Stefcova (11-13, 11-5, 11-9, 12-10, 11-9).

Presently on the Women’s World Rankings, Rahel Aschwanden is listed at no.287, Alina Zaharia at no.271 and Kristyna Stefcova at no.280.

Wins against the odds for Kim Eunji, Lee Yearam and Kim Haeun; it was same from Norway’s Rebekka Carlsen and Hungary’s Leonie Hartbricht. Appearing at no.437 on the current Women’s World Rankings, Rebecca Karlsson beat Russia’s Anastasia Kolish (11-9, 11-7, 11-6, 11-6); similarly, Leonie Hartbrich, standing at no.451, overcame Italy’s Deborah Vivarelli (11-6, 11-7, 11-9, 11-7). Notably both Anastasia Kolish and Debora Vivarelli occupy the no.207 spot on the Women’s World Rankings.

“I am a bit surprised that I played so good. In the morning I was a bit struggling to find my rhythm. Against Vivarelli it all worked out fine, she had a bit of difficulties with my serve.” Leonie Hartbricht.

Surprises in the opening exchanges in the Women’s Singles event but not where the leading names on duty were involved; Russia’s Olga Kulikova, Chinese Taipei’s Huang Yu-Wen and Oceane Guisnel of France all enjoyed success, as did England’s Tin-Tin Ho.

Olga Kulikova beat Norway’s Ilka Doval (14-12, 11-3, 11-8, 11-7), Huang Yu-Wen overcame Finland’s Anna Kirichenko (11-7, 11-3, 11-4, 11-2). Impressive performances, in a similar manner Oceane Guisnel accounted for the Czech Republic’s Katerina Cechova (8-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-8, 13-11), Tin-Tin Ho defeated Iran’s Maryam Samet (11-6, 11-1, 11-8, 11-6).

In the Women’s Singles qualification tournament, players finishing in first places in each of the 20 groups advance to the main draw. The second placed players compete in a preliminary round, the winners plus two players drawn as “Lucky Losers” at random from those who experienced defeat in the preliminary round, gain a place among the top 32 seeds.

Challenge Series 2017 Belgium Open Rebekka Carlsen Kim Haeun Leonie Hartbrich Lee Yearam Kim Eunji

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Day 3 - 2017 Belgium Open