by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Rikke Skattet and Japan’s Kaho Akae were the players to cause the biggest surprises; both remained unbeaten, securing first places in their respective groups courtesy of success against the highest rated player. Rikke Skattet beat Leili Mostafavi of France, the no.7 seed (11-4, 11-7, 11-8), Kaho Akae overcame Poland’s Julia Szymczak, the no.8 seed (12-10, 9-11, 11-6, 6-11, 11-7).
Top spot in the group meant a direct entry to round two; for Leili Mostafavi and Kaho Akae, who experienced no further defeats in the group stage, second places were secured, in the first round it was differing fortunes.
Leili Mostafavi beat Portugal’s Ana Garcia, the no.12 seed (11-9, 12-10, 8-11, 11-9, 7-11, 5-11, 11-5) who in the group stage had lost to Isa Cok (4-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-9, 11-9), Julia Szymczak experienced defeat at the hands of Natacha Koszulap (9-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-8, 4-11, 11-9).
Earlier Natacha Koszulap, had beaten Poland’s Agata Zakrzewska, the no.11 seed, to remain unbeaten and top her group (11-8, 11-7, 11-7). Disappointment for Agata Zakrzewska and there was to be more; in the opening round she was beaten by Isa Cok (11-9, 10-12, 11-8, 7-11, 13-11, 11-4, 11-8).
Similarly, it was first place in the group for Camille Lutz and then progress to round two, contrary to predictions. She accounted for Hungary’s Fanni Harasztovich (11-6, 11-6, 11-2) in the initial phase of proceedings prior to recording a second round success against Rachel Gerarts of the Netherlands (11-4, 10-12, 11-8, 11-6, 7-11, 11-6). Disappointment for Fanni Harasztovich but she recovered; she posted an opening round win against Belgium’s Estelle Duvivier (13-11, 12-10, 11-8, 11-9).
Surprise second round places in the Junior Girls’ Singles event and there was one more to add to the list. In the opening round Poland’s Katarzyna Wegrzyn, the no.10 seed, was beaten by Japan’s Hikari Olubo (12-10, 11-7, 9-11, 11-8, 6-11, 12-10). Earlier, Hikari Okubo had finished in second place in her initial phase group, losing to Hong Kong’s Lee Ka Yee, the no.4 seed (11-6, 11-5, 13-11).
First place for Lee Ka Yee and a direct entry to the second round; it was the same for colleagues Chau Wing Sze and Wong Chin Yau, the respective top two seeds, as it was for Lucie Gauthier of France, the no.3 seed. Likewise Poland’s Anna Wegrzyn, the no.5 seed and Japan’s Yukari Sugasawa, the no.6 seed, secured first places in their respective groups; thus advancing directly to round two.
The Junior Girls’ Singles event will be played to a conclusion on Thursday 19th April.