by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Alas for Abir Haj Salah, it is the end of the road; also she was beaten by Egypt’s Farida Badawy (11-3, 11-4, 11-6), who in her opening contest accounted for Narime-Hind (11-6, 11-3. 11-5). Himitra Raharimanana and Farida Badawy are assured of the top two places, in the concluding group stage contest they meet to decide the final order.
Defeat for Archana Girish Kamath but it was her only defeat of the day, the door for a place in the knock-out stage is still open. Likewise, it is the same situation for Italy’s Jamila Laurenti and Singapore’s Zhang Wanling. Jamila Laurenti, the no.7 seed suffered at the hands of Iran’s Mahshid Ashtari (8-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-9); Zhang Wangling, the no.10 seed, was beaten by Hungary’s Fanny Haras ztovich (11-8, 11-8, 11-8).
Defeats and there were two close calls; India´s Selena Selvakumar, the no.6 seed, was extended the full distance by Egypt’s Hana Goda (8-11, 12-10, 7-11, 11-7, 11-5), as was Kazakhstan’s Zauresh Akasheva, the no.10 seed, when opposing India’s Swatsika Ghjosh (11-7, 7-11, 5-11, 11-4, 11-8)
Testing times, not for Serbia’s Sabina Surjan, the top seed, she topped her group in style as did, Croatia’s Andrea Pavlovic, Lucie Gauthier of France and Tijana Jokiccalso from Serbia.
Meanwhile, in the early contests in the Junior Boys’ Singles event, India’s Manav Vikash Thakkar, the top seed, duly completed his initial phase matches unbeaten and thus booked his place in the main draw.
Similarly, for the remaining leading names with one match in the group still to play, it was a most successful start to proceedings, the only prominent players to experience any difficulties were Austria’s Maciej Kolodziejzyk, Poland’s Jakub Zelinka and India’s Pays Jain.
Maciej Kolodziejzyk had to recover from a two games to nil deficit against Belgium’s Louis Laffineur, before emerging successful by the very narrowest of decisions (11-13, 8-11, 12-10,. 11-5, 13-11).
Likewise, Poland’s Jakub Zelinka had to recover from two games to nil in arrears to beat Egypt’s Adham Abdelaal (5-11, 4-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-6); whilst not quite so dramatically, Payas Jain defeated Algeria’s Mohamed Sebia in five games engagement (11-5, 11-5, 12-14, 8-11, 11-7).
The individual events conclude on Friday 23rd March