by Simon Daish
Finishing as a group runner up Izabela Lupulesku was required to compete in one final round of qualifying, a challenge the Serbian star was more than up for as she saw off Czech Republic’s Nikita Petrovova without dropping a game (11-6, 11-9, 11-7, 12-10) to seal her spot in the Round of 64.
Success for Izabela Lupulesku in the Preliminary Round, as there was for another Serbian representative: Dragana Vignjevic held off a brave comeback attempt in her final qualification tie as Italy’s Jamila Laurenti lost out across six games (11-5, 12-10, 11-8, 8-11, 8-11, 11-3).
One Italian competitor who did prove victorious in the play-off for the main draw was Veronica Mosconi; she defeated Lucia Truksova of the Slovak Republic (11-5, 11-4, 11-9, 11-9) who, like Jamila Laurenti, moves through to the Round of 64 as one of two ‘lucky losers’.
Earlier in the day three Hungarian players qualified directly to the Women’s Singles tournament as group stage winners including Bernadett Balint following her strong display against young Swiss representative Celine Reust (11-5, 11-6, 11-8, 10-12, 11-4).
Barbora Balazova topped her qualification group by the narrowest of margins with the Slovak contestant beating Hong Kong’s Zhu Chengzhu in the vital group decider (7-11, 13-11, 8-11, 11-6, 6-11, 14-12, 11-9) but it was a very different story for Satsuki Odo as the Japanese player stormed to a comfortable victory over Kristyna Stefcova (11-2, 11-5, 11-7, 11-9), claiming her third successive straight games group win in the process.