by Simon Daish
Victorious over Serbian qualifier Izabela Lupulesku in the opening round of the tournament (11-7, 4-11, 14-12, 11-8, 11-3) but later in the day the test proved to be much tougher for Maki Shiomi, requiring the full seven games distance to see off Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yu-Hsin (11-4, 11-8, 11-6, 6-11, 8-11, 5-11, 11-7).
Through to the last 16 with great difficulty but through nonetheless and Maki Shiomi is in good company with eight of her fellow compatriots also moving into round three: Hitomi Sato successfully came through her two opening fixtures with Jamila Laurenti (15-17, 11-9, 11-8, 11-2, 19-17) and Kim Youjin (11-6, 11-3, 11-7, 8-11, 11-0) both falling to the top seed.
Second seed Miyu Kato emerged victorious in her opening encounters with Lucia Truksova (11-9, 11-6, 11-2, 11-6) and Linda Bergstrom (11-7, 10-12, 12-10, 11-8, 11-6) while the no.3 seeded player Sakura Mori accounted for 25th seed Dana Cechova (8-11, 14-12, 11-3, 10-12, 11-7, 11-8).
German table tennis fans experienced a day of mixed emotions with Nina Mittelham and Sabine Winter coming away from the day’s action with very different outcomes. Seeded 14th but for Nina Mittelham it was an early exit in Otocec, losing out to the unseeded Barbora Balazova in the opening round (11-9, 9-11, 12-10, 11-3, 11-6).
However, there is a Round of 16 space reserved for the other German representative Sabine Winter after the 12 seed saw off Hungarian opponent Krisztina Ambrus (11-4, 11-5, 8-11, 11-9, 11-8) to set up a tie with Miyu Kato.
Women’s Singles action in Otocec resumes on Thursday 5th April from 11.05am (local time).