by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager (Interviews by Milica Nikolic, ETTU Press Officer)
Wan Yuan completed her second stage group matches by beating Norway’s Rebekka Carlsen (11-6, 11-9, 11-9, 11-1) and Poland’s Julia Slazak (11-13, 10-12, 5-11, 11-2, 11-5, 11-8, 11-6).
“Today’s match against Rebecca was hard despite the final score. The second two games were really close, but then I regained focus and did much better.” Wan Yuan
Hard fought contests, it was only slightly easier for Adina Diaconu. She beat Croatia’s Andrea Pavlovic (11-8, 11-8, 11-7, 11-4) before overcoming Italy’s Jamila Laurenti, a player with a quite unique style for the modern era. Shu use anti-spin rubber on the backhand. Adapting to the situation, Adina Diaconu won in five games (8-11, 11-5, 11-4, 11-9, 11-3).
“It was difficult to play today due to the new rubber I am using. Playing Jamila was very strange, too. I needed time to get accustomed to her style. After the first game I felt much better and things went just fine.” Adina Diaconu.
First place in the group for Wan Yuan and Adina Diaconu, it was the same for Daria Trigolos, the no.4 seed, as it was for Poland’s Natalia Bajor, the no.7 seed and Russia’s Mariia Tailakova, the no.8 seed.
A trouble free day for Daria Trigolos not for her Belarus colleagues; Alina Nikitchanka, the no.3 seed and Nadezhda Bogdanova, the no.5 seed, experienced defeats, both at the hands of Russian adversaries. Alina Nikitchanka lost to Anastasia Kolish (3-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-5, 4-11, 11-3, 11-7); Nadezhda Bogdanova was beaten by Valeria Shcherbatykh (11-7, 13-11, 9-11, 13-11, 11-9).
Defeats for Alina Nikitchanka and Nadezhda Bogdanova but their only losses, second place in the group and thus progress to the knock-out stage was secured. Anastasia Kolish and Valeria Shcherbatykh remained unbeaten to top the respective groups.
Progress to the main draw but that was not the scenario for Ukraine’s Solomiya Bratenko, the no.6 seed. It was the end of the road. She finished in third place in her group behind Poland’s Anna Wegrzyn and Belgium’s Lisa Lung.
Qualifiers for Third Stage: Knock-Out
First Places: Wan Yuan (Germany), Adina Diaconu (Romania), Anastasia Kolish (Russia), Daria Trigolos (Belarus), Natalia Bajor (Poland), Mariia Tailakova (Russia), Valeria Shcherbatykh (Russia), and Anna Wegrzyn (Poland)
Second Places: Ozge Yilmaz (Turkey), Jamila Laurenti (Italy), Alina Nikitchanka (Belarus), Tatiana Kukulova (Slovakia), Nadezhda Bogdanova (Belarus), Marketa Sevcikova (Czech Republic), Andreea Dragoman (Romania), Lisa Lung (Belgium)