by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Romania’s Bernadette Szocs responded when crisis mounted, underlining the progress that has been made in the past year; I would suggest that there is greater level of consistency and having won the ITTF-Europe Top 16 earlier this year in Montreux, there is increased self-belief.
It was that latter quality and few ear piercing squeals that enabled victory to be sealed against Korea’s Choi Hyojoo (11-6, 13-15, 9-11, 11-7, 11-8, 3-11, 11-9).
Conversely, for Yang Xiaoxin, quiet not a whisper, it was a performance of high efficiency with not a moment of drama. She beat Hong Kong’s Ng Wing Nam in four straight games (11-8, 11-3, 11-8, 11-7).
“I had a good feeling for the ball today, from the backhand, the long pimples, I could change the rhythm of the play. Returning her services was quite difficult and I had to aware of her strong forehand.” Yang Xiaoxin.
A close call and a comfortable win; it was similar for the Chinese trio.
Che Xiaoxi needed the full five games to beat India’s Manika Batra (4-11, 11-4, 7-11, 8-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-6); Chen Ke required six games to overcome Japan’s Miyu Maeda (11-4, 11-8, 11-9, 4-11, 7-11, 11-7).
Meanwhile, for Sun Yingsha life was less fraught; a straight games win was posted in opposition to the Czech Republic’s Hana Matelova (11-6, 11-9, 11-2, 11-3).