by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Unbeaten on the opening day of action, each accounted for the highest rated player in their respective groups to secure pole position.
Pride of place went to Jennifer Jonsson. She staved off a spirited recovery from Singapore’s Yu Mengyu, the winner of the Women’s Singles event at the 2009 ITTF World Tour Indian Open (11-8, 11-9, 11-9, 8-11, 6-11, 6-11, 12-10).
Success for the attacking skills of Jennifer Jonsson against an ITTF World Tour winner, it was the same for the defensive attributes of colleague, Linda Bergström. She beat Portugal’s Shao Jieni, the victor in Nigeria in both 2015 and 2016. Impressively Linda Bergström prevailed in six games (9-11, 12-10, 11-7, 11-5, 9-11, 11-6).
Wins over the highest rated player in the group to reserve first place, similarly, Chinese Taipei enjoyed notable success. Lee I-Chen beat India’s Manika Batra (5-11, 11-7, 11-7, 7-11, 11-7, 11-7); Lin Chia-Chih defeated Russia’s Yana Noskova (8-11, 12-14, 11-8, 11-6, 11-6, 11-9).
Worthy performances by hitherto unbeaten players to secure first places against higher rated opponents on the second day of action; it was the same from Monaco’s Yang Xiaoxin, Serbia’s Andrea Todorovic and England’s Tin-Tin Ho, as it was from the Czech Republic’s Renata Strbikova and Spain’s Galia Dvorak.
Yang Xiaoxin beat Cheng Hsien-Tu (11-7, 11-5, 13-15, 11-9. 12-10) a member of the Chinese Taipei bronze medal winning outfit at the Perfect 2016 World Team Championships in Kuala Lumpur; Andrea Todorovic caused India more pain by beating Madhurika Patkar (8-11, 11-6, !2-10, 3-11, 11-5, 7-11, 11-8), whilst Tin-Tin Ho accounted for Switzerland’s Rachel Moret (11-7, 11-6, 11-9, 11-8).
In a somewhat similar manner, Renata Srbikova overcame Slovenia’s Alex Galic (11-3, 11-8, 6-11, 13-11, 8-11, 11-8); Galia Dvorak ended the hopes of Brazil’s Gui Lin (8-11, 11-7, 11-3, 11-8, 13-11).
Unexpected first places but not amongst the leading names on qualification phase duty; Poland’s Li Qian, Egypt’s Dina Meshref and Austria’s Liu Jia in addition to Romania’s Bernadette Szocs completed their group stage contests unscathed.
Success for Bernadette Szocs and there was also a noteworthy win for her colleague, Daniela Monteiro-Dodean; she accounted for Chinese pen-holder Zhang Qiang in six games (11-5, 11-9, 6-11, 11-8, 11-13, 11-8) to reserve first place in her group.
“The key for success today was the good receive and a constant change in the rhythm of the play . I said to myself keep the ball on the table and wait for the right ball. I changed the direction on my serves well so she could not attack.” Daniela Monteiro Dodean
The preliminary rounds now awaits.