by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
However, for both Ted Li and for Claudia Infante, it was a close decision.
In his opening contest, Ted Li lost to Chile’s Andres Martinez, the no.5 seed, in four games (11-9, 4-11, 11-6, 11-9), before in the concluding match in the group, recording a straight games success in opposition to Canada’s David Xu (11-6, 11-7, 11-6). Sandwiched in between, David Xu had beaten Andres Martinez without the loss of a single game (12-10, 11-9, 11-7).
Therefore games ratio decided the final positions; first place went to Ted Li (4:3), followed by David Xu (3:3) and Andres Martinez (3:4). Players finishing in first and second positions in each group advanced to the main draw; thus for Andres Martinez, who had started the day with such high hopes, it was elimination.
Likewise, Claudia Infante had to rely on a little help from a friend. She lost to Poland’s Emilia Skuba in four games (5-11, 11-5, 11-4, 11-8) after the latter had been beaten by Canada’s Laura Lai, the no.11 seed, in five games in the opening contest (9-11, 13-11, 11-13, 13-11, 11-8). An initial defeat for Laura Lai but matters ended on a high note; she overcame Emilia Skuba in three straight games (13-11, 12-10, 11-9).
The win meant first place in the group for Claudia Infante (4:3) ahead of Laura Lai (5:4) and Claudia Infante (4:3).
Meanwhile, for Sun Zheng, Luc Sicard and Jayden Zhou life was more straightforward. They remained unbeaten accounting for the highest rated player in their respective groups.
Sun Zheng beat Jordan’s Khaled Khader, the no.9 seed (11-6, 4-11, 11-3, 11-8), Luc Sicard defeated Chile’s Jorge Paredes, the no.10 seed, whilst Jayden Zhou overcame Canada’s Kenny Jiang, the no.16 seed (11-6, 11-8, 17-15). The saving grace for Khaled Khader, Jorge Paredes and Kenny Jiang was that it was their only defeat; thus second place and progress to the main draw was achieved.
Similarly in the Junior Girls’ Singles event it was the same scenario, for the defeated just one loss, second place in the group and progress to the main draw. Kelly Fei Zhao beat Chile’s Valentina Rios, the no.8 seed (9-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-5); Lu Yumeng overcame Canada’s Benita Zhou (11-7, 11-8, 11-4).
Surprise outcomes but not where the top names were concerned. In the Junior Boys’ Singles event Sharon Alguetti and Victor Liu of the United States both finished in first places in their respective groups as did Poland’s Artur Grela and Canada’s Jeremy Hazin.
Top places as anticipated; it was the same in the Junior Girls’ Singles competition for the top four names; the Czech Republic’s Zdena Blaskova and Germany’s Franziska Schreiner both finished in first positions in their groups as did Poland’s Anna Wegrzyn and Finland’s Annika Lundström.
Play in the first round of both the Junior Boys’ Singles and Junior Girls’ Singles events will be conducted later in the day.