by Ian Marshall, Editor
Success for two ITTF World Tour winners, required to compete in the Women’s Singles qualification tournament. There were successes for more on the opening day of action but there were also defeats.
Sweden’s Li Fen, who won in Spain in 2014, beat Japan’s Rika Suzuki (11-6, 11-6, 11-9, 11-7); Germany Sabine Winter who had succeeded in Belarus one year earlier, accounted for Chinese Taipei’s Kuo Chia-Yun (11-5, 13-11, 12-10, 11-5). Similarly, Hungary’s Szandra Pergel, successful in 2012 in both Belgium and Zagreb, overcame Korea Republic’s Lee Yujin (11-2, 11-3, 6-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-6).
Most significantly, China’s Wen Jia who won in 2011 on home soil in Shenzhen and two years later in Germany, accounted for England’s Tin-Tin Ho (11-6, 11-8, 11-9, 11-3); colleague Wu Yang, victorious in Slovenia and Poland in 2011, as well as more recently in Germany in 2016, ended the progress of Korea’s Republic’s Heo Miryeo (11-5, 11-4, 12-10, 11-2).
Furthermore, colleagues Liu Gaoyang and Wang Yidi, semi-finalists and finalists respectively last week in Bulgaria enjoyed first day success. Liu Gaoyang accounted for the host nation’s Anezka Ilcikova (11-5, 12-10, 11-9, 11-2), before in the second preliminary round beating Stéphanie Loueillette of France (11-5, 11-7, 11-5, 11-2). Meanwhile, starting proceedings in the second preliminary round, as with the majority of players, Wang Yidi beat Finland’s Arina Kirichenko (11-4, 11-6, 11-1, 11-4).
Success for notable names but there notable names who experienced defeat; Portugal’s Shao Jieni, who won on the ITTF World Tour in Nigeria in both 2015 and 2016, was beaten by Croatia’s Sun Jiayi (11-7, 11-8, 11-6, 4-11, 5-11, 11-6). Similarly, Russia’s Polina Mikhailova, successful in Belarus in 2012, suffered at the hands of Korea Republic’s Kim Hayeong (11-7, 11-7, 11-7, 9-11, 9-11, 11-6).
Wins against the odds but arguably not the biggest upsets of the first day of play in the Women’s Singles qualification tournament; for that accolade the vote goes to Russia’s Valeria Shcherbarykh and Puerto Rico’s Melanie Diaz, the elder sister of Adriana Diaz the winner last year in the Czech Republic of the Under 21 Women’s Singles title.
In the second preliminary round, listed at no.280 on the current Women’s World Rankings, Valeria Shcherbarykh beat Germany’s Petrissa Solja, named at no.43 (7-11, 11-6, 5-11, 12-10, 11-6); Melanie Diaz, who occupies the no.156 spot, ended the progress of Poland’s Katarzyna Grzybowska-Franc by the very narrowest of decisions (14-12, 9-11, 5-11, 6-11, 11-7, 13-11, 12-10). Presently in the global order, Katarzyna Grzybowska-Franc is listed at no.78.
Play in the Women’s Singles qualification tournament, organised on a knock-out basis, concludes on Wednesday 22nd August.