by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Star of the show for Australia was Miao Miao; she teamed with Jian Fang Lay to win the doubles against Alicia Cote and Justina Yeung (11-9, 11-8, 11-5), before in the fourth match of the fixture securing the victory by overcoming Zhang Mo.
However, she gave the home supporters nervous moments; leading two games to one, she held match point at 10-9; Zhang Mo called “Time Out”, the break worked, a deciding game was needed. Experienced, Miao Miao responded, a lead established, the lead was never relinquished (4-11, 11-6, 11-8, 12-14, 11-8).
“After the “Time Out”, Zhang Mo used a serve she never before used in the whole match; she positioned the ball well. I had to adapt, so in the fifth game I made changes; when we’ve played before it’s always been close, she experienced, she is consistent. I made mistakes rushing, it was important that I was patient.” Miao Miao.
Success for Miao Miao came after the first two matches of the fixture had been decided by the minimal two points and honours had been shared. In the opening match of the fixture, Tracy Feng had beaten Alicia Cote (5-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-8, 11.9), before by a very similar margin, Zhang Mo had responded to overcome Jian Fang Lay (11-4, 9-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-9).
A three-one win for Australia it was the same for India against Wales with 11 year old Anna Hursey gaining the greatest level of applause. After Charlotte Carey had lost to Manika Batra (11-8, 8-11, 11-5, 11-4) and Chloe Thomas had been beaten by Mouma Das (12-10, 11-7, 11-7); Chloe Thomas and Anna Hursey combined to beat Mouma Das and Madhirika Patkar.
In a contest that captivated the crowd, the Welsh pair won the first two games, lost the next two, before in the fifth trailing 8-10, they saved both match points and one more to snatch a quite remarkable victory (11-8, 11-6, 5-11, 7-11, 13-11). A ray of hope for Wales, there was to be no remarkable recovery; Madhurika Patkar beat Chloe Thomas (11-8, 11-4, 12-10) to end matters.
Success and as with Australia it meant a quarter-final spot for India; likewise both Singapore and India reserved places in their places in the round of the last eight.
Singapore, selecting Zhou Yihan, Zhang Wanling and Li Ye defeated Fiji’s Grace Yee, Sally Yee and Xuan Li by three matches to nil; the same margin of victory as was recorded by England’s Tin-Tin Ho, Kelly Sibley and Maria Tsaptsinos against the Vanuatu combination of Priscilla Tommy, Stephanie Qwea and Anolyn Lulu.
The matches in the group stage of the Women’s Team event conclude on Friday 6th April; teams finishing in first and second places in each group advance to the last eight. The quarter-finals will be played later in the day.