by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Success for the two leading names but for the next in line there were problems. Andrea Pavlovic, after accounting for the Czech Republic’s Terezie Sazimova (11-7, 11-7, 11-9), experienced defeat at the hands of Poland’s Aleksandra Michalak (3-11, 12-10, 12-10, 11-9). Aleksandra Michalak duly concluded her itinerary with victory over Terezie Sazimova (11-8, 11-9, 11-5) and secured first place with Andrea Pavlovic in second position.
Defeat for Andrea Pavlovic but progress to the main draw, for Slovenia’s Aleksandra Vovk, the no.8 seed, there was no such fortune. She was beaten by both Norway’s Anne Kalvatin (11-9, 13-11, 11-6) and China’s Gao Yanan (11-7, 11-3, 11-8). Gao Yanan duly accounted for Anne Kalvatin (11-4, 11-9, 11-5); thus for Aleksandra Vovk it was third position. Gao Yanan and Anne Kalvatin advanced to the main draw.
Surprise first places there were several more, the player causing the upset remaining unbeaten, the defeated seed experiencing no further discomforts and thus ending the day in second place.
Japanese players were very much to the fore in causing the upsets. Sakura Yokoi accounted for Slovakia’s Nikoleta Puchovanova, the no.11 seed (11-3, 11-6, 11-8), Kaho Akae overcame Hungary’s Fanni Harasztovich (11-5, 8-11, 11-9, 13-11); whilst Yua Yamasaki defeated the host nation’s Natalia Grigelova, the no.14 seed (11-7, 11-6, 11-13, 11-9).
Similarly, China was also in evidence. Wei Yuanhui beat Croatia’s Marta Vukelic, the no.16 seed (11-2, 11-3, 11-6), Wang Xiaotong accounted for Japan’s Hikari Oboi, the no.18 seed (11-5, 11-6, 11-5). Meanwhile, not to be overshadowed by Asian visitors, Germany’s Tu Wenna beat Poland’s Julia Szymczak, the no.10 seed (11-9, 11-4, 11-8).
Defeats but as with the players against whom they had suffered it was a place in the second round; the one exception being Fanni Harasztovich, she was required to compete in the opening round and came very near to bidding farewell. She needed the full seven games to defeat Lynn Hsieh Tia of the United States only emerging successful by the minimal two point margin in the deciding game (11-6, 9-11, 8-11, 12-10, 7-11, 11-5, 13-11).
Play concludes in Senec on Sunday 20th May.