by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Places reserved but not without some moments of concern; especially for Maki Shiomi and Adina Diaconu, both were extended the full distance in their second series contests.
Maki Shiomi needed seven games to beat India’s Archana Girish Kamath, the no.7 seed (11-9, 12-10, 7-11, 11-4, 6-11, 2-11, 11-4); later in the evening, in a similar vein, Adina Diaconu overcame Belgium’s Lisa Lung, the no.5 seed (2-11, 11-6, 2-11, 4-11, 11-2, 11-5, 11-5).
“It was a difficult match because Lisa and I have played against each other since we were cadets. Normally, I start tournaments a bit shaky and then improve, so I am quite happy to have won my first two matches. I think the difference for my win today was that I was able to concentrate and focus a bit more than Lisa. My goal for the tournament is to reach the final since this will be my last chance as a junior.” Adina Diaconu
“I played against Adina this year at the Hungarian Open in the Under 21 Women’s Singles and lost three-two after having a two-nil lead. Here in Luxemburg it was almost the same, after leading three-one, I lost four-three. She has much experience and played the match very well. I have gained self-confidence for my next match which is against Chen Ting-Ting from Chinese Taipei. I have never played against her before but the match against Adina was a very good warm up for tomorrow.” Lisa Lung
Hard fought wins, for Miyu Nagasaki and Su Pei-Ling life was less dramatic. Miyu Nagasaki beat Thailand’s Jinnipa Sawettabut, the no.8 seed (11-3, 11-6, 12-10, 11-5), Su Pei-Ling overcame Hong Kong’s Chau Wing Sze, the no.6 seed (11-8, 11-4, 11-3, 6-11, 11-8).
Defeats for Archana Girish Kamath, Jinnipa Sawettabut, Lisa Lung and Chau Wing Sze but having enjoyed success in their opening matches, the door to the quarter-finals is open.
Each has one win to their credit, it is the same for Amy Wang of the United States and Hong Kong’s Wong Chin Yau, as it is for Chinese Taipei’s Chen Ting-Ting and Selena Selvakumar, like Archana Girish Kamath from India.
In their second matches of the day, Amy Wang, the no.11 seed, beat Luxembourg’s Sarah Meyer, the no.15 seed (17-15, 6-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-2); Wong Chin Yau, the no.9 seed overcame Australia’s Michelle Wu, the no.16 seed (11-6, 11-5, 11-4, 11-4).
“In this match I was not so nervous and started well. I lost the first game 15-17 but it was very close. The second game I won and I felt good! However, then it got worse and worse and I could not keep up with her. I have to improve my mental strength.” Sarah Meyer
Meanwhile, Chen Ting-Ting, the no.11 seed, survived a severe test when facing Ecuador’s Nathaly Paredes, the no.14 seed (11-3, 11-3, 2-11, 9-11, 11-6, 2-11, 11-8), whilst Selena Selvakumar, the no.12 seed, defeated Egypt’s Marwa Alhodaby, the no.13 seed (3-11, 11-2, 11-6, 11-3, 3-11, 11-4).
“I was a bit nervous at first because I had lost my first match. I lost the first game but then I managed to get into the match again and turn it around. The key to success? I think I was able to disturb Marwa’s game with a combination of long and short play.” Selena Selvakumar
Places in the main draw at stake, in the vital contests to determine second place, Archana Girish Kamath faces Amy Wang, Jinnipa Sawettabut confronts Wong Chin Yau. Similarly, Lisa Lung opposes Chen Ting-Ting, Chau Wing Sze plies her skills against Selena Selvakumar.
Players finishing in first and second positions in each of the four groups advance to the quarter-finals. The group stage of the Girls’ Singles event concludes on Saturday 3rd February.