18 May 2018

First place in the initial stage group was the outcome for Hong Kong’s Liu Qi alongside the Indian trio comprising Archana Girish Kamath, Moumita Dutta and Ayhika Mukherjee, the respective top four names on duty in the Under 21 Women’s Singles qualification event at the 2018 ITTF Challenge Thailand Open.

However, as play concluded on Thursday 17th May, there were plenty of surprise names at the head of the lists.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager

The player to cause arguably the biggest upset was Hong Kong’s Chau Wing Sze; after on the opening day of action beating Korea’s Kim Jinhye (12-10, 11-8, 9-11, 11-6), she accounted for India’s Selena Selvakumar, the fifth highest rated player on initial phase duty.

Impressively, Chau Wing Sze emerged successful in three straight games (14-12, 11-6, 11-6).

“I didn’t have any problems in this match against Selena. I think my strong forehand helped me the most in this qualifying round.” Chau Wing Sze

Similarly, Yuan Yuan was in most imposing form; after beating Singapore’s Wong Xin Ru (11-3, 11-5, 11-8), she ended the hopes of Korea’s Yoon Hyobin, (11-8, 11-8, 11-5).

Likewise, India’s Swatsika Ghosh secured first place in her group contrary to expectations but in a rather more testing manner. On the opening day of play, she beat Korea’s Kim Yedam in three straight games (11-6, 12-10, 11-6) but on the second day of action suffered defeat at the hands of Thailand’s Monapsorn Saritapirak in five games (9-11, 17-15, 13-11, 5-11, 13-11). One match later, in the contest that brought the group to a close, Kim Yedam accounted for Monapsorn Saritapirak in four games (2-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-8).

Thus games ratio was needed to decide the outcome; the end result was first place for Swastika Ghosh (5:3), followed by Monapsorn Saritapirak (4:5) and Kim Yedam (3:4).

Surprise first places; further down the list, there were surprise first places for Korea’s Kim Hayeong and Hong Kong’s Zhang Wenjing, as well as for China’s Hu Yueyan and Yu Yifan.

Players finishing in first places in each of the 15 groups plus one “Lucky Loser” drawn at random from the second players advanced to the main draw; the player to gain the “Lucky Loser” spot was Singapore’s Pearlyn Koh Kai Xin.

Challenge Series 2018 Thailand Open Chau Wing Sze Yuan Yuan

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