18 Mar 2018

Proceedings underway at the 2018 Lignano Masters Para Open in northern Italy, in the Women’s Singles events there were ideal starts for the host nation; Giadi Rossi and Michela Brunelli excelled.

At the close of play on the first day of action, Thursday 16th March, both remained unbeaten; moreover Giadi Rossi upset the odds.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager

Competing in Class 2, an event that witnessed two groups in the initial stage of proceedings, she beat Russia’s Nadejda Pushpasheva, the no.2 seed (9-11, 11-8, 11-7, 13-11) to secure first place and a passage to the semi-finals. In the corresponding group, Korea’s Seo Suyeon secured top place.

Good form from Giadi Rossi; in Class 3 it was the very same from Michela Brunelli; one match to complete in a group organised event, she remains the one unbeaten player.

Success for Michela Brunelli as her top seeded position suggested, it was the same in Class 4-5 where in the group phase the top two names, those of Serbia’s Borislava Peric-Rankovic and Germany’s Sandra Mikolaschek, duly remained unbeaten and thus reserved penultimate round places.

No surprise, but that was not the situation in Class 6-7, Kelly Van Zon of the Netherlands, the top seed, duly remained unbeaten to top her group but for the second seed, Korea’s Kim Seongok, there was defeat. She was beaten by Anne Barneoud of France and duly finished the group in runners up spot; Anne Barneoud remained unbeaten to head the group and thus joined Kelly Van Zon in the semi-finals. Detetermined, Kim Seongok advanced to the quarter-final round where she kept her medal hopes alive; she beat Ukraine’s Maryna Lytovchenko in three straight games (11-9, 13-11, 11-8).

Meanwhile, in Class 8, play arranged on a group all-play-all basis, Norway’s Aida Dahlen remains the one unbeaten player; like Michela Brunelli she has just one match to play.

The situation for Aida Dahlen is clear cut, win and the title is secured. In Class 9-10, also organised on a group basis, the decision is anything but clear cut. Japan’s Nozomi Takeuchi beat Germany’s Lena Kramm (11-7, 11-8, 11-3) but then lost to Ukraine’s Iryna Shynkarova (12-14, 14-12, 6-11, 13-11, 11-6), who in her opening match had been beaten by colleague Marharyta Saltanovska (11-5, 11-5, 11-7). Success for Marharyta Saltanovska but in her next contest it was defeat at the hands of Lena Kramm (11-3, 7-11, 11-9, 11-5).

Thus at the end of the day it was one win and one defeat for each player in the group; one match remains for each player, an enthralling second day awaits.

2018 Lignano Masters Para Open – Day One
Photos: Michele Castellani

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