16 Nov 2018

Farewell for Elena Kuzmina but as play commenced in the second round of the Women’s Singles event at the 2018 ITTF Challenge Belgosstrakh Belarus Open in Minsk on Friday 16th November, for Russia there were far more positives than negatives.

Maria Dolgikh, Polina Mikhailova and Yana Noskova all emerged successful.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Pride of place went to Maria Dolgikh, her defensive skills eventually prevailing in a marathon contest in opposition to the Korea Republic’s Kim Mingyung (11-3, 13-15, 11-9, 8-11, 12-10, 7-11, 15-13), likewise a player who had been required to compete in the two day qualification tournament.

Somewhat differently both Polina Mikhailova and Yana Noskova were seeded; the journey starting the previous day. Polina Mikhailova, the winner six years ago in 2012 and the no.6 seed, was likewise involved in a seven games duel, she ended the adventures of Japan’s Miku Izumo (8-11, 12-10, 11-2, 6-11, 7-11, 11-8, 11-6); rather more comfortably, Yana Noskova, the no.12 seed, accounted for Croatia’s Mateja Jeger, the no.18 seed (11-4, 11-7, 7-11, 11-3, 11-7).

Success for Polina Mikhailova against Japanese opposition; it was the Land of the Rising Sun that ended the hopes of Elena Kuzmina. She was beaten by Sakura Mori, the no.19 seed (11-5, 11-5, 12-14, 11-6, 11-2).

Second round wins for Polina Mikhailova and Yana Noskova as expected, it was the same in the remaining matches in the top half of the Women’s Singles draw. Canada’s Zhang Mo, the top seed, overcame Japan’s Yumeno Soma (11-5, 11-2, 11-6, 12-10), Luxembourg’s Ni Xia Lian, the no.7 seed, proved too astute for Korea Republic’s Lee Yeongeun (9-11, 11-4, 11-5, 11-6, 13-11).

Defeat for Yumeno Soma but alongside Sakura Mori there was notable Japanese success; Miyu Kato, the no.4 seed, ended the hopes of Kim Vermaas of the Netherlands, the no.31 seed (11-7, 11-3, 11-7, 11-4); in a similar manner Miyuu Kihara prevailed in opposition to the Czech Republic’s Katerina Tomanovska (11-4, 11-9, 11-1, 13-11).

The third round and quarter-finals of the Women’s Singles event will be played on Saturday 17th November.

Challenge Series 2018 Belarus Open Maria Dolgikh

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Day 4 - 2018 ITTF Challenge Belarus Open