18 Mar 2018

Success contrary to expectations, the host nation’s Giadi Rossi, alongside Germany’s Sandra Mikolaschek emerged as the surprise winners in the Women’s Singles wheelchair events at the 2018 Lignano Masters Para Open on Friday 16th March.

Conversely, as status advised, Michela Brunelli, like Giadi Rossi from Italy, prevailed as status predicted.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager

A semi-final success in opposition to Argentina’s Maria Costanza Garonne (11-6, 11-7, 11-6), Giadi Rossi recovered from the very precipice of defeat to secure the Class 2 title at the final expense of Korea’s Seo Suyeon, the top seed (8-11, 7-11, 12-10, 11-4, 11-5).

“It was a very interesting event for me, because I am testing new technical things to fill the gaps I have, especially with my forehand. I wanted to see whether this first period of practice is working well, I am satisfied. During the match I felt well prepared and I had in my mind what I had to do for every point. In the first two games of the final, Seo imposed her greater experience. In the third game I was behind 5-8 and I kept playing my game and my tactics, trying to do everything in the best way. I believed I could win. I did not have anything to lose, she is higher than me in the ranking.” Giadi Rossi

Impressive from Giadi Rossi, arguably it was even more impressive from 20 year old Sandra Mikolaschek; the no.2 seed. She won the Class 4-5 title beating Serbia’s Borislava Peric-Rankovic, the top seed in the final. Sandra Mikolaschek emerged successful in five games (12-10, 5-11, 3-11, 11-5, 11-8) against one of the most celebrated names of all.

The Serbian is the reigning European champion as well as being gold medallist at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. Furthermore she is one of the favourites to claim the top prize at the forthcoming 2018 World Para Championships to be held later this year in Lasko, Slovenia

“I won in Lignano last year and the year before; this is my third win here and I am very happy. Borislava Peric-Rankovic is number one in the world, she is a great champion. It was a really tough match to beat her, I had to be very precise and in a very active way to win the point. I really did not expect this outcome, I am very proud of myself. At the World Championships I hope to win a medal. I am the fourth seed and I will try hard but who knows what happens. Everything can happen there.” Sandra Mikolaschek

Success by narrow margins, it was the same for Michela Brunelli, competing in Class 3, play organised on an all-play-all group basis, she was beaten in five games by Serbia’s Sanya Mijatovic (11-7, 4-11, 11-5, 9-11, 11-6) in her concluding contest. However, the previous day Sanya Mijatovic had lost to Brazil’s Marliane Amaral Santos by a similar margin (11-6, 11-8, 4-11, 9-11, 11-6), whilst in four games Mihaela Brunelli had overcome the South American (12-14, 11-2, 15-13, 11-2).

Thus on games ratio it was first place for Mihela Brunelli (5:4), followed by Sanja Mijatovic (5:5) and Marliane Amaral Santos (4:5).

The individual events concluded; attention now turns to the team competitions; play concludes on Saturday 17th March.

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

Lignano Para Masters: Draws for main events and latest results

Paralympics Para Table Tennis Sandra Mikolaschek Mihela Brunelli Giadi Rossi