by Simon Daish
Seeded third in the draw Mariia Tailakova was expected by many to be a major contender for the title in Cluj-Napoca, but with the Russian failing to capitalise on a two games to one advantage against Sweden’s Christina Karlsson (11-3, 5-11, 7-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-8) the Round of 32 brought her journey to a close.
The end of the road for Mariia Tailakova, the last 32 also signalled the exit of Marharyta Baltushite: taking on Azerbaijan’s Zhou Chuyi, who entered the event unseeded, the No.11 seed from Belarus could only muster two games to her name as she crashed out of the proceedings (11-7, 13-15, 11-6, 11-9, 7-11, 11-6).
Finalists from last year, Azerbaijan’s Ning Jing and Russia’s Anatasia Kolish both moved through to the Round of 16 following straight games victories over Aleksandra Vovk (13-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-7) and Isa Cok (11-3, 14-12, 11-8, 11-5) respectively.
Serbian star Tijana Jokic experienced a major scare, requiring the full seven games distance to see off Hungary’s Fanni Harasztovich (7-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-9, 9-11, 11-6, 11-8) while the two Romanian players involved in the last 32 Andreea Dragoman and Tania Plaian both progressed.
The Junior Girls’ Singles campaign resumes on Monday 23rd July with Round of 16 and quarter-finals action.