by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
A very technically correct attacking top spin player but if the 17 year old is to secure her career first ITTF World Junior Circuit Girls’ Singles title, she must be at her best. There is stiff competition.
Notably, Amy Wang of the United States, Croatia’s Andrea Pavlovic and the host nation’s Tatiana Kukulkova are all named on the entry list; all have qualified for the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games but have yet the shine on this year’s ITTF World Junior Circuit.
The best for Amy Wang is a quarter-final finish in the Czech Republic, for Andrea Pavlovic, the runners up spot in Tunisia. Alas for Tatiana Kukulkova, she has yet to progress to the later rounds; her best this year is the third round in Croatia.
In Senec, Amy Wang is the no.2 seed, Andrea Pavlovic, the no.3 seed; Tatiana Kukulkova, the no.7 seed.
Major challengers for gold but the player to note above all others is one who not Buenos Aires bound; making her fifth appearance of the year on the ITTF World Junior Circuit, Japan’s Yukari Sugasawa is the no.5 seed, one place behind Poland’s Anna-Wegrzyn, last year a semi-finalist.
In 2017, Yukari Sugasawa won in Croatia, more pertinently, earlier this year she emerged successful in Belgium. Arguably she is the in-form player
Next in line to Yukari Sugasawa is Chinese Taipei’s Chien Tung-Chuan with Slovenia’s Aleksandra Vovk completing the top eight names. Both have yet to shine on this year’s ITTF World Junior Circuit; the best for Chien Tung-Chuan is a third round in Thailand, for Aleksandra Vovk a second round in both the Czech Republic and Italy.
Possible winners but beware; note the names of Gao Yanan, Wang Xiaotong and Wei Yuanhui, no world ranking but from China, the country in the world that has the greatest depth of talent, they might just ruffle a few feathers.