17 May 2018

Winner at the recently concluded Spanish Junior and Cadet Open, China’s Zuo Yue alongside her colleague, Hu Yueyan, the player she beat in the penultimate round, both underlined the fact on Wednesday 16th May, that they are an equally potent force when they step up an age group.

Both made fine starts in their initial stage qualification group stage matches at the 2018 ITTF Challenge Thailand Open in Bangkok on Wednesday 16th May.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager

Zuo Yue beat Chinese Taipei’s Lee En-Chi (11-7, 7-11, 11-8, 11-5), at the same time Hu Yueyan accounted for Korea’s Lee Sooyeon (11-7, 11-7, 11-7) in a competition where the only safe option to gain a place in the main draw is top spot in the group.

Players finishing in first place in each of the 15 initial phase groups, plus one “Lucky Loser” drawn at random from the second places players, join the 16 seeds in the first round proper.

Success for Hu Yueyan and Zuo Yue; in the opening exchanges in the Under 21 Women’s Singles events, there were also successes for colleagues Yuan Yuan, Yu Yifan, Zhai Yujia and Han Guoyu but not for Zhang Xueen.

Yuan Yuan and Zhai Yujia both overcame Singaporean adversaries; Yuan Yuan beat Wong Xin Ru (11-3, 11-5, 11-8), Zhai Yujia accounted for Tan En Hui (11-7, 11-4, 11-3). Similarly, Yu Yifan beat Korea’s Kang Eunji (11-9, 11-7, 11-9); Han Guoyu defeated Thailand’s Nanapat Kola (4-11, 11-2, 11-6, 11-4). Alas for Zhang Xueen it was defeat at the hands Kim Hayeong, like Jang Eunji from Korea (11-5, 11-9, 11-1).

Defeat for the host nation as matters commenced in the Under 21 Women’s Singles qualification stage but there were notable successes. Naja Mekamporn beat Korea’s Shim Minjoo (6-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-8) and Monapsorn Saritapirak overcame India’s Swastika Ghosh in the closest match of the of the opening series (9-11, 17-15, 13-11, 5-11, 13-11).

Play in the qualification stage of the Under 21 Women’s Singles event concludes on Thursday 17th May.

Challenge Series 2018 Thailand Open Zuo Yue Hu Yueyan

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