by Ian Marshall, Editor
Single minded, focused, the speed of Miu Hirano proved too great for Andrea Dragoman, from start to finish the young lady, who some 18 months ago had caused a sensation by winning the Women’s Singles title at the Seamaster 2018 Asian Championships in Wuxi, controlled proceedings from start to finish.
Significant was the fact that Miu Hirano has competed and competed successfully against the very best players on planet earth; she was a level ahead of Andrea Dragoman, who has excellent results at junior level but has yet to make a breakthrough on the senior stage.
“I think I played well, my service, attacking and placement were good in the match.” Miu Hirano
It was to some extent the same for Sun Yingsha against Archana Girish Kamath; she was too safe, too secure throughout the majority of the contest. The one ray of hope for India came in the fourth game when Archana Girish Kamath won the first six points and then surrendered just one more to reduce the match deficit. Contrary to the norm, Sun Yingsha made unforced errors; Archana Girish Kamath could do no wrong.
However, in the fifth game normal service was resumed, from 3-all, Sun Yingsha moved ahead 7-4; Archana Girish Kamath called “Time Out” but the writing was on the wall.
“The last time we played against each other was two or three years back at the Asian Junior Championships, so we haven’t met for a long time; she was well prepared and played well today. In the fourth game, I felt I let my guard down.” “Next match against Hirano is the final battle for gold, I will definitely have to prepare well, play carefully and fight for each point in the match to challenge her.” Sun Yingsha
Defeats but Andreea Dragoman and Archana Girish Kamath could hold their heads high; both had exceed seeded expectations; furthermore each had created a first
At a Youth Olympic Games, Andreea Dragoman is the first European to reach a Women’s Singles semi-final; Archana Girish Kamath is the first player from India, boy or girl to reach the penultimate round in any event.
The bronze medal match and final will be played later in the day.