by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
First round defeats but they could hardly be considered surprises; the new World Ranking scheme undoubtedly encouraging players who may not have competed in the age group events, to take part.
Romania’s Adina Diaconu, the no.16 seed, was beaten by Japan’s Hitomi Sato, the no.26 seed (5-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-2); likewise Belgium’s Lisa Lung also experienced defeat at Japanese hands, the no.8 seed she was beaten by Honoka Hashimoto, the no.27 seed (11-5, 11-5, 11-5). Notably on the ITTF World Tour Hitomi Sato has six ITTF World Tour Under 21 Women’s Singles titles to her credit, whilst at ITTF Challenge Series tournaments, Honoka Hashimoto was the Women’s Singles runner up last week in Poland and the winner last year in Zagreb.
In a not too dissimilar manner, the French duo of Oceane Guisnel and Marie Migot suffered defeats when facing lower seeded but most creditable opposition. Oceane Guisnel, the no.12 seed, was beaten by China’s Huang Yingqi, the no.24 seed (11-7, 11-3, 11-8); Marie Migot, the no.13 seed, lost to Chinese Taipei’s Fan Siqi, the no.25 seed (11-8, 11-2, 11-6).
Defeats for highly rated names, for the top names they were not required to raise their rackets in anger; Hong Kong’s Minnie Soo Wai Yam, Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz and Germany’s Wan Yuan alongside the Japanese duo of Saki Shibata and Miyuu Kihara received direct entries to round two.
The second round and quarter-finals of the Under 21 Women’s Singles event will be played on Wednesday 21st March.