09 Mar 2019

One year ago in Minsk, at the final hurdle Mariia Tailakova beat Russian colleague, Valeria Shcherbatykh to secure women’s singles gold; there will be no such repeat at the Butterfly 2019 European Under 21 Championships in Gondomar.

Both ended the day, Friday 8th March, without a win to their name, as the second stage of play came to a conclusion.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Valeria Shcherbatykh, the top seed, was beaten by Turkey’s Ozge Yilmaz (11-8, 8-11, 11-4, 3-11, 13-11, 5-11, 11-8) in her opening contest, prior to experiencing defeat at the hands of Oceane Guisnel of France (11-3, 13-11, 5-11, 3-11, 5-11, 11-8, 11-7) and Germany’s Sophie Klee (11-8, 11-6, 5-11, 12-10, 11-8).

Meanwhile, Maria Tailakova, the no.3 seed, lost to Nadezhda Bogdanova of Belarus (3-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-9) and Sweden’s Christina Källberg (9-11, 7-11, 11-9, 12-10, 12-10, 14-12), before withdrawing from proceedings injured when due to face Germany’s Franziska Schreiner.

Sophia Klee and Nadezhda Bogdanova duly remained unbeaten to secure first places; Oceane Guisnel and Christina Källberg ended the day in second positions and thus advanced to the main draw.

Problems for Mariia Tailakova and Valeria Shcherbatykh, it was the same for Belgium’s Lisa Lung, the no.2 seed, as it was for Spain’s Zhang Xuan, the no.7 seed and Slovakia’s Tatiana Kukulkova, the no.8 seed. Zhang Xuan finished in third place in her group behind England’s Tin-Tin Ho and Austria’s Karoline Mischek, thus bidding farewell; for Lisa Lung and Tatiana Kukulkova it was one defeat, second place in the group and thus progress to the main draw.

Both found Romanian adversaries in form; Lisa Lung lost to Adina Diaconu (11-7, 11-7, 11-5, 11-4); Tatiana Kukulkova was beaten by Tania Plaian (4-11, 11-7, 12-10, 11-6, 11-8). Impressively Adina Diaconu and Tania Plaian remained unbeaten to end the day in first positions.

Difficult times for five of the eight seeds who had received direct entries to the second stage; for the remaining three names it was first place. Audrey Zarif of France, the no.4 seed, duly reserved first position in her group as did colleague Marie Migot, the no.5 seed. Likewise it was top spot for Daria Trigolos of Belarus.

Play in the opening round and quarter-finals of the women’s singles and women’s doubles event will be held on Saturday 9th March.

2019 Butterfly Europe Under 21 Championships Mariia Tailakova Valeria Shcherbatykh

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