23 Nov 2017

Impressive performances, four players on duty in the Junior Girls’ Singles event at the 2017 Portugal Junior and Cadet Open in Guimarães; for Iran, when the initial group stage concluded on Wednesday 22nd November, it was four first places, four unblemished records.

Parinaz Hajilou and Mahshid Ashtari duly topped their groups as anticipated; they were the respective fourth and seventh seeds; however, the top places gained by Fatemah Jamalifar and Shima Safaei were contrary to expectations.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Notably Fatemah Jamalifar accounted for Singapore’s Zhou Jingyi, the no.6 seed (12-10, 8-11, 11-7, 11-6); Shima Safei overcame Emine Ernst of the Netherlands, the no.11 seed (11-9, 11-7, 11-6).

It was to be the only defeat of the day for Zhou Jingyi, she duly secured second place in the group and thus advanced to the main draw. Alas, for Emine Ernst it was a different scenario; in addition she was beaten by Portugal’s Silvia Santos (11-6, 11-5, 11-9) and had to settle for third position and thus no progress to the main draw. Silvia Santos duly claimed second spot.

Two surprise first places and there were two more; Uzbekistan’s Rozalina Khadjieva overcame the host nation’s Raquel Martins, the no.9 seed (11-6, 11-9, 11-7) to secure first place in her group. Similar to Zhou Jingyi it was the only defeat for Raquel Martins who this advanced to the main draw.

Clear cut decisions, in the one further group that witnessed a surprise first place, a calculator was needed to determine to outcome.

Belgium’s Maelys Dahy, the no.10 seed, experienced defeat at the hands of Rachel Gerarts of the Netherlands in four games (11-6, 11-13, 11-4, 11-6); the win for Rachel Gerarts coming after in her opening contest she had been beaten by Spain’s Natalia Fernandez by a similar margin (11-9, 11-4, 10-12, 11-7). Good news for Natalia Fernandez; however, in her concluding engagement, she lost to Maelys Dahy. Once more the decision was in four games (6-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-5).

Level on match and games ratio; points ratio decided. The end result was first place for Natalia Fernandez (75:71) with Rachel Gerarts in second position (66:72) and Maelys Dahy (68:76) in third, thus eliminated.

Surprises but not where the top names were concerned; Belgium’s Lisa Lung, Thailand’s Suthasini Sawettabut and Men Zhuohan of the Netherlands all ended the day without defeat and thus in first positions in their respective groups.

World Junior Circuit 2017 Portugal Junior & Cadet Open Fatemeh Jamalifar Shima Safei Mahshid Ashtari Parinaz Hajilou

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Day 1 - 2017 Portugal Junior & Cadet Open