by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
In addition to Audrey Zarif, there were also opening round defeats for French colleagues, Laura Pfeffer and Oceane Guisnel.
The defeat experienced by Laura Pfeffer was no great surprise; she was beaten by Japan’s Satsuki Odo, the no.8 seed (11-9, 9-11, 11-3, 11-7). Conversely, the reverse experienced by Oceane Guisnel was not necessarily to be anticipated; the no.6 seed, she was beaten by the narrowest of margins in a full distance five games duel by the Belarus defender, Alina Nikitchanka (11-13, 11-6, 11-5, 14-16, 11-9).
Two surprise results with Giorgia Piccolin and Alina Nikitchanka the young ladies in form; however in the opening round of the Under 21 Women’s Singles event, that was to be the sum total of unexpected outcomes.
Notably the top three names all prevailed without any moments of great drama.
Japan’s Kyoka Kato, the top seed, overcame Korea’s Kang Dayeon (11-8, 11-7, 11-9), the latter’s colleague, Ji Eunchae, the no.2 seed, ended Spanish hopes by beating Zhang Xuan (11-4, 6-11, 15-13, 15-13; Germany’s Wang Yuan, the no.3 seed, accounted for Austria’s Karoline Mischek (11-4, 11-7, 11-4).
At the quarter-final stage Kyoka Kato faces Satsuki Odo, Wan Yan opposes Japan’s Kana Takeuchi. In the opposite half of the draw Giorgia Piccolin meets Alkin Nikitchanka; Ji Eunchae confronts Russia’s Valeria Shcherbatykh.
In the opening round, Kana Takeuchi, the no.5 seed, beat Nadezhda Bogdanova of Belarus (11-8, 11-13, 11-4, 17-15); Valeria Shcherbatykh ended the hopes of Italy’s Veronica Mosconi 911-7, 5-11, 11-9, 11-6).
The matches will be played on Saturday 25th November;