25 Oct 2018

Winner in 2014, then again in 2016; in her bid to maintain the pattern of winning the title every two years, Hungary’s Georgina Pota made the ideal start to her campaign in the Women’s Singles event at the 2018 ITTF Challenge Belgium Open in De Haan on Thursday 25th October.

The no.5 seed, she accounted for Russia’s Olga Kulikova in three straight games (11-8, 11-6, 11-9, 11-6).

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Success for Georgina Pota and as play progressed in the lower half of the Women’s Singles draw there were also wins for the principal names.

Sweden’s Matilda Ekholm, the no.2 seed, beat Korea Republic’s Park Seri (11-2, 11-4, 9-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-3), Japan’s Honoka Hashimoto, the no.3 seed, overcame Croatia’s Mateja Jeger (12-10, 11-6, 11-5, 10-12, 11-2). Likewise, Luxembourg’s Ni Xia Lian, the no.6 seed, proved too wise for Hungary’s Bernadett Balint (11-5, 11-5, 11-5, 12-10).

Wins as predicted by there were surprises, the biggest being the defeat of Russia’s Polina Mikhailova, the no.9 seed by Audrey Zarif of France; a major upset or was it as a big a surprise as at first glance the facts may suggest?

“Mikhailova is my team mate in the French League. We know each other well, it was a tight match. In the end I stayed calm and won. I am very happy with the way I am playing here. I have a lot of confidence and feel no pressure now for the rest of the tournament.” Audrey Zarif

Success for Audrey Zarif; there were also successes for two further players who had been required to compete in the qualification tournament as the opening round of the Women’s Singles event came to a close. China’s Guo Xinyi ended Belgian hopes by beating Lisa Lung, the no.31 seed (11-6, 7-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-4); in a much closer duel, Korea Republic’s Shin Yubin accounted for Japan’s Satsuki Odo (11-5, 8-11, 11-13, 11-9, 10-12, 15-13, 11-9).

The second round of the Women’s Singles event will be played later in the day.

Challenge Series 2018 Belgium Open Georgina Pota Audrey Zarif

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Day 3 - 2018 ITTF Challenge Belgium Open

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