by Ian Marshall, Editor
Wins against the odds, as play in the top half of the Women’s Singles draw progressed, there were further successes contrary to expectations. India’s Ayhika Mukherjee, Italy’s Chiara Colantoni and Poland’s Natalia Bajor, in addition to Sweden’s Filippa Bergand upset the order of merit.
Ayhika Mukherjee, using her combination racket of short pimpled and anti-spin rubber to good effect, accounted for Japan’s Maki Shiomi, the no.14 seed (11-6, 11-8, 11-3, 15-17, 5-11, 11-8) on what proved a good morning for India. At the same time, Manika Batra, the no.13 seed, as her status advised, booked her place in the second round by beating Kim Vermaas of the Netherlands (12-10, 11-7, 7-11, 10-12, 11-8, 11-5).
“It was a difficult first match. It has been a long time since I played on the international scene. In the beginning it went well but then Kim came back. I had to change my tactical plan to win the match. I am happy to be back in Belgium. I like the country and the people are so nice. Last year I reached the quarter-final, now I want to do better.” Manika Batra
Hard fought wins for Ayhika Mukherjee and Manika Batra; it was the same for Filippa Bergand who overcame England’s Tin-Tin Ho, the no.26 seed (11-8, 8-11, 11-7, 8-11, 11-9, 11-7). Meanwhile, for Chiara Colantoni and Natalia Bajor, life was only slightly less demanding. Chiara Colantoni needed five games to beat the host nation’s Margo Degraef, the no.32 seed (6-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-9, 11-5), in one game less Natalia Bajor ended the hopes of Chile’s Paulina Vega, the no.17 seed (11-7, 11-6, 12-10, 11-9).
Problems, for prominent names but not for the Japanese duo of Saki Shibata and Miyu Nagasaki, nor for Egypt’s Dina Meshref; Saki Shibata, the no.2 seed and defending champion, opened her account with success against Belgium’s Nathalie Marchetti (8-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-3, 11-3, 11-9), Miyu Nagasaki, the no.4 seed, overcame Marie Migot of France (11-8, 8-11, 11-3, 11-3, 11-4).
Likewise, not to be upstaged, Dina Meshref, the no.7 seed, ended any hopes harboured by Pauline Chasselin, like Marie Migot from France (11-9, 11-5, 11-7, 12-10).
The second round of the Women’s Singles event will be played later in the day.