01 Nov 2017

A place in the main draw at stake, Margo Degraef delighted the host nation supporters on the second morning of play, Wednesday 1st November, at the 2017 ITTF Challenge Belgium Open in De Haan.

In her concluding group stage contest in the Under 21 Women’s Singles event, she caused an upset of note by beating Russia’s Daria Chernoray by the narrowest of five game margins to conclude her initial phase matches unbeaten (11-4, 5-11, 12-10, 9-11, 11-9).

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

The second highest rated player on duty in the group stage, Daria Chernoray occupied the no.106 position on the October Under 21 Women’s Singles World Rankings, Margo Degraef was at no.218; the list used to determine seeding in De Haan.

“I am really happy with my performance against Daria Chernoray from Russia; when I was leading two one in games I had a bit of stress and missed three serves. In the decisive game I found back my good form. I am now qualified for the main draw in the Under 21, that was my first goal.” Margo Degraef

A surprise first place for Margo Degraef, it was the same for Korea’s Kim Haeun and Shin Jieun as it was for Croatia’s Sun Jiayi.

Furthermore, for Kim Haeun it was first place without playing. The previous day she had lost to Belgium’s Nathalie Marchetti, the highest rated player in the group, she had been beaten in four games (11-9, 12-10, 9-11, 11-9); however, in her opening contest of the day she had accounted for Marharyta Baltushite of Belarus in straight games (11-4, 11-8, 11-6).

In the concluding group phase contest, Nathalie Marchetti experienced defeat at the hands of Marharyte Baltushite in four games (11-7, 11-9, 9-11, 11-9). Thus three players level; it was first place for Kim Haeun (4:3), followed by Nathalie Marchetti (4:4) and Marharyta Baltushite (3:4).

Likewise, it was first place for Shin Jieun on games ratio. On the opening day of play, she had lost to the Czech Republic’s Karolina Mynarova, the leading name in the group, in four games (11-8, 8-11, 11-4, 11-8) but pertinently had accounted for Japan’s Haruna Ojio in three straight games (11-8, 11-7, 11-7). Unbeaten on the first day of play, but on the second for Karolina Mynarova that status ended, she was beaten in three straight games by Haruna Ojio (11-3, 11-4, 12-10).

Thus on games ratio it was first place for Shin Jieun (4:3), with Haruna Ojio in second spot (3:3) and Karilina Minarova fourth (3:4).

Top spot by narrow margins, for Sun Jiayi more comfortable; she maintained her unbeaten record, accounting for Austria’s Karoline Mischek, the leading name in the group, in straight games (11-3, 11-4, 12-10).

Problems for notable names but not for the top name on first stage Under 21 Women’s Singles duty; Russia’s Kristina Kazantseva beat Austria’s Leonie Hartbnich (11-4, 11-9, 11-8) to seal first place in her group.

Likewise, Kim Vermaas of the Netherlands, the third highest name on first phase duty emerged unscathed as did Laura Pfeffer of France, the fourth in line. In the contests that brought their initial phase matches to an end, Kim Vermaas beat Norway’s Rebekka Carlsen by the narrowest of decisions (11-8, 11-5, 7-11, 6-11, 12-10); Laura Pfeffer accounted for the Czech Republic’s Katerina Cechova (11-8, 11-4, 9-11, 11-5).


Challenge Series Margo Degraef

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