by Simon Daish
Seeded fifth, Andreea Dragoman booked her spot in the Junior Girls’ Singles final with a fantastic comeback effort against Lee Ka Yee, defeating the Hong Kong representative in a dramatic seven game thriller (6-11, 10-12, 15-13, 13-15, 11-7, 11-6, 11-4) to keep Romania’s qualification hopes alive.
With no.1 seed Surbina Surjan making an early exit in Hodonin surely the favourite to finish in first position was second seed Andrea Pavlovic, but the Croatian came close to missing out on the final with Franziska Schreiner taking the tie to the deciding game (11-7, 9-11, 7-11, 11-5, 11-9, 8-11, 11-7).
The final was also a closely contested fixture with five of the six games being decided by no more than a three point margin.
Pavlovic earned the early advantage in the final with a promising display in the opening game but three consecutive game wins in the opposite direction saw the momentum shift in Dragoman’s favour.
Determined to stay in the contest Pavlovic responded in game five to reduce the score deficit, but there was to be no comeback from the Croatian player as Dragoman claimed the following game to seal her place at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games (8-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-6, 8-11, 11-8).