by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Rebekka Carlsen was beaten by Leili Mostafavi of France in five games (11-8, 8-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-4); in somewhat similar circumstances Leonie Hartbrich experienced defeat at the hands of Marharyta Baltushite of Belarus, she lost in six games (6-11, 11-7, 8-11, 11-3, 11-8, 11-6).
However, on the opening day of play, both Rebekka Carlsen and Leonie Hartbrich had beaten the highest rated players in their respective groups. Rebekka Carlsen had overcome Russia’s Anastasia Kolish in four straight games (11-9, 11-7, 11-6, 11-6); in a likewise manner, Leonie Hartbrich had accounted for Italy’s Deborah Vivarelli (11-6, 11-7, 11-9, 11-7).
Following the defeats, both Anastasia Kolish and Deborah Vivarelli had recovered; Anastasia Kolish overcame Leili Mostafavi in straight games (11-6, 11-8, 13-11, 11-7), in one game more Deborah Vivarelli had accounted for Marharyta Baltushite (11-3, 11-4, 4-11, 11-9, 11-9).
Thus games ratio decided the outcome; Rebekka Carlsen (5:4) finished ahead of Anastasia Kolish (4:4) and Leili Mostafavi (4:5). Similarly, it was top spot for Leonie Hartbrich (6:4) ahead of Marharyta Baltushite (5:6) and Deborah Vivarelli (4:5).
Two surprise top finishes and there were more in the group phase of the Women’s Singles qualification tournament but in a rather different manner; unbeaten performances from India’s Sreeja Akula, Austria’s Karoline Mischek and the Czech Republic’s Karolina Minarova secured first places as did the unblemished efforts of Belgium’s Nathalie Marchetti, Croatia’s Sun Jiayi, Chinese Taipei’s Lin Chia-Hui and Korea’s Kim Haeun.
Meanwhile, for the highest rated names on duty it was top spot without defeat. Russia’s Olga Kulikova, Chinese Taipei’s Huang Yu-Wen Oceane Guisnel of France and England’s Tin-Tin Ho all ended the day without a defeat to their name, first place and a passport to the main draw secured.