15 Mar 2018

Surprises abundant in the first round of the Women’s Singles event at the 2018 ITTF Challenge Series Polish Open in Spala, in the second round, on the late afternoon of Thursday 15th March, it was very much the favourites who prevailed.

However, as they say, the exception proves the rule.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager

The players to cause the upsets were Romania’s Alina Zaharia who beat Daria Trigolos of Belarus, the no.22 seed (11-5, 13-11, 11-6, 13-11) and Ukraine’s Margaryta Pesotska who accounted for Audrey Zarif of France, the no.31 seed (11-7, 11-6, 11-1, 12-10)

Both not seeded, they emerged as two of five players who had been required to compete in the preliminary phase to reserve third round places; in the other instances it was fellow qualifiers competing against each other in the quest for progress.

Chinese Taipei’s Tsui Pao-Wen beat Romania’s Andreea Dragoman (11-7, 11-5, 11-3, 9-11, 11-7), Serbia’s Andrea Todorovic accounted for Russia’s Valeria Shcherbatykh (11-8, 11-6, 7-11, 8-11, 11-6, 12-10), whilst Pauline Chasselin of France defeated Slovakia’s Tatiana Kukulkova (11-8, 11-8, 11-8, 11-13, 11-6).

Otherwise it was success as predicted with the leading names that had negotiated the opening round, making progress; Korea and Japan being very much in evidence.

Top seeds, Korea’s Suh Hyowon beat Charlotte Carey of Wales (11-3, 11-1, 11-6, 11-6); colleague Yang Haeun, the no.3 seed, ousted Chinese Taipei’s Lin Chia-Hsuan, the no.30 seed (11-3, 11-8, 11-8, 11-6). Likewise in an all Korean affair, Jeon Jihee, the no.8 seed, ended the hopes of Kim Jiho (12-10, 11-7, 11-7, 5-11, 11-8).

Successes for three leading Koreans; it was the same for Japan. Hitomi Sato beat England’s Tin-Tin Ho (11-3, 9-11, 11-6, 12-10, 12-10), Honika Hashimoto, the no.4 seed, ended Polish hopes by overcoming Katarzyna Grzybowska-Franc (11-8, 11-7, 11-9, 11-6); in a similar manner, Saki Shibata, the no.5 seed, ended the journey of Spain’s Galia Dvorak (11-2, 11-6, 5-11, 11-7, 11-4).

Play in the third round and quarter-finals of the Women’s Singles event takes place on Friday 16th March.

Challenge Series Margaryta Pesotska Alina Zaharia

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