by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
However, the previous day in the opening match in the group, Barbora Balazova had experienced defeat at the hands of Austria’s Karoline Mischek by a similar margin (11-3, 11-8, 11-9, 9-11, 7-11, 11-7). In the next match Yang Haeun had recorded a straight games success in opposition to Karoline Misvhek (11-5, 11-5, 11-1, 11-7).
Thus games ratio was needed to determine the outcome; it was first place for Yang Haeun (6:4), with Barbora Balazova in second position (6:6) followed by Karoline Mischek (4:6).
Likewise there were nervous moments for Canada’s Zhang Mo; she needed to produce a performance of note to justify her billing as the highest rated player in the group. On the opening day of play she had lost to Marie Migot of France in seven games (8-11, 11-8, 12-14, 11-8, 5-11, 11-6, 11-4); the defeat coming after Marie Migot had been beaten in four straight games by Japan’s Miyu Nagasaki (11-5, 11-8, 16-14, 11-7).
Zhang Mo duly responded; she beat Miyu Nagasaki in four straight games (11-9, 13-11, 11-8, 19-17); thus on games ratio Zhang Mo (7:4) finished ahead of Miyu Nagasaki (4:4) and Marie Migot (4:7).
First place in the group contrary to ranking; it was the same for Poland’s Katarzyna Grzybowska-Franc, Korea’s Yoo Eunchong, China’s Wu Yang, Turkey’s Hu Melek and Britt Eerland of the Netherlands; in their concluding matches, all beat the highest rated player in their group to reserve pole position.
Katarzyna Grzybowska-Franc succeeded in a titanic seven games duel against Hong Kong’s Jiang Huajun (3-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-8, 8-11, 9-11, 16-14); Wu Yang proved too safe in defence for Austria’s Liu Jia (11-4, 8-11, 11-5, 11-5, 11-0). Impressively, Hu Melek accounted for India’s Manika Batra (11-4, 11-2, 11-8, 8-11, 11-5); Britt Eerland ended the hopes of Mouma Das, also from India (11-4, 7-11, 11-6, 11-5, 11-4).
Meanwhile, for the top names there were no great heartaches; Japan’s Hitomi Sato, Austria’s Sofia Polcanova and Romania’s Elizabeta Samara duly secured first places in their respective groups.
A place in the main draw awaits Hitomi Sato and Sofia Polcanova; for Elizabeta Samara she must play in a preliminary round.
Players who finish in first places in groups no.3 to no.30 compete in the preliminary round, the winners advance to the main draw; the qualification tournament concludes on Thursday 22nd March.