by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Listed at no.393 on the current Women’s World Rankings, Sun Jiayi, having beaten Poland’s Natalia Bajor (9-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-9, 11-6), concluded her group stage contests with a similarly impressive win against Britt Eerland of the Netherlands (10-12, 11-7, 7-11, 11-7, 11-8). Presently Natalia Bajor is at no.228 in the global order, Britt Eerland at no.228.
“I felt I had a very good chance to win the match after winning the first game; that was very important. I dropped one game because I was focusing on winning not focusing on my game. My coach kept me on track and so I felt confident again.” Sun Jiayi
Impressive from Sun Jiayi, it was even more impressive from He Zhuojia, like Li Xiang, a player with no current world ranking. Having beaten Sweden’s Li Fen, named at no.134 (11-7, 11-2, 11-9, 11-5), she overcame the Czech Republic’s Dana Cechova, listed at no.107 (11-9, 11-4, 8-11, 11-6, 3-11, 11-3) to reserve top spot in the group.
Similarly, Li Xiang showed no charity; a straight games win over Egypt’s Yousra Helmy, ranked no.123 (11-5, 11-7, 11-2, 11-6) was followed by a similar margin of victory when confronting Audrey Zarif of France, named at no.117 on the current listings (11-7, 11-4, 11-5, 11-5).
Defeats but there were no such travails for the leading names on qualification duty.
Poland’s Li Qian opened her account with victory over Laura Pfeffer of France (11-4, 11-9, 11-2, 11-8), Egypt’s Dina Meshref overcame the Czech Republic’s Kristyna Stefcova (11-7, 11-3, 11-5, 10-12, 11-4).
Similarly, Austria’s Liu Jia beat Canada’s Alicia Cote (11-3, 11-5, 6-11, 11-5, 11-5), Romania’s Bernadette Szocs defeated Slovakia’s Lucia Truksova (11-8, 11-3, 11-8, 11-3).
“It is always nice to win your first match four-nil. I feel i am ready for my next match.” Bernadette Szocs
Success for four notable names and there was success for one of the most notable; China’s Sun Yingsha opened her account with victory over Italy’s Jamila Laurenti (4-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-9, 11-8).
“It was a great experience to play her. I am very happy I managed to win the first game and made it difficult for her. I am pleased; every game was tight, I was able to put her under pressure.” Jamila Laurenti
The qualification tournament concludes on Wednesday 17th January.