by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Quietly, away from the glamour of the show courts, Tracey Feng accounted for Chloe Thomas of Wales; a most efficient performance, she prevailed in three straight games (11-6, 11-6, 11-9, 11-5).
Soon after Melissa Tapper emerged successful against a most worthy adversary in the guise of Malaysia’s 15 year old Karen Lyne, a player of undoubted potential, left handed like Melissa Tapper, a young lady with supple wrist and very calm in character.
Melissa Tapper emerged successful in five games (13-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-7, 11-8).
“I was a little nervous before the match and I don’t play many other left handers; it wasn’t easy when she played from her backhand wide to my forehand. It was a difficult situation for her; she played well, she did really well, she is only 15 years old. I felt I could win the rallies; especially if I could play my forehand top spin. Here I can’t lose; the crowd is amazing.” Melissa Tapper
Success for Melissa Tapper was followed by success for Jian Fang Lay, she accounted for Vanuatu’s Priscilla Tommy, the highest rated player in the qualification stage and a player who raised her game against the Australian. Jian Fang Lay won in four straight games (11-4, 12-10, 11-3. 11-8), but she was made to work for her success.
“She played very well against me; she did not have great problems when I played with the long pimpled rubber” Jian Fang Lay
A win that was harder than the score-line may suggest but in the opening round of the Women’s Singles event, the hardest fought success was that gained by Malaysia’s Ho Ying; she needed six games to overcome Charlotte Carey of Wales (11-7, 5-11, 11-5, 11-6, 8-11, 11-8).
The top four names in the guise of Singapore’s Feng Tianwei and Yu Mengyu alongside Canada’s Zhang Mo and India’s Manika Batra were not required to compete in the opening round.