by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
The task is to seize that opportunity, one such player who in the past two years has taken full advantage of the opportunities afforded is India’s Selena Selvakumar, the leading name in the Junior Girls’ Singles event in Abidjan.
Notably in 2016 she made no less than nine appearances on the ITTF World Junior Circuit, making the perfect start. She competed at the Doha Junior and Cadet Open in Qatar and won the Junior Girls’ Singles event.
A regular face in 2016, it was just the same last year; she was in action on five occasions, again she secured a Junior Girls’ Singles title, she won in Egypt, finished in third place on the Standings behind Japan’s Maki Shiomi and Belgium’s Lisa Lung, thus gaining an invitation to Luxembourg for the 2017 ITTF Wold Junior Circuit Finals.
Third place was to be her lot in the initial group stage and thus no place in the main draw but she came very close to a last eight berth and could depart the Grand Duchy with pride. She was beaten by Chinese Taipei’s Su Pei-Ling in seven games (11-7, 11-4, 7-11, 11-7, 8-11, 10-12, 11-8), before losing an almost equally close contest in opposition to Hong Kong’s Chau Wing Sze. She experienced defeat was in six games (7-11, 11-6, 13-11, 7-11, 11-5, 11-1). Sandwiched in between, she recorded her one win when overcoming Egypt’s Marwa Alhodaby (8-11, 16-14, 11-5, 11-8, 8-11, 11-7).
Now, in 2018 Selena Selvakumar is once again on her travels, earlier this year she competed in the Czech Republic and Tunisia; in the former she reached the third round losing to Poland’s Julia Szymczak, in the latter it was a quarter-final exit at the hands of Croatia’s Andrea Pavlovic.
The question to be answered is can she maintain tradition? A title in 2016, same again in 2017, now in 2017 can she continue the sequence, she is leading name, she has every opportunity.