by Ian Marshall, Editor
Furthermore, the success recorded by Mirjana Lucic was not a massive upset; she was the no.2 seed.
After accounting for Sweden’s Anja Handen, the top seed, in a five games semi-final encounter (11-7, 6-11, 11-6, 12-14, 11-4), she overcame Croatia’s Iona-Monica Tepelea, in straight games (11-4, 11-8, 11-3) to seal the title and repeat the result of two years earlier.
In 2017, in a group organized event, Iona-Monica Tepelea had also finished the runner up; in the crucial contest she had experienced defeat at the hands of Mirjana Lucic, in a much closer engagement. A full distance five games verdict (11-8, 9-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-6) had been the outcome.
Success for Mirjana Lucic, in class 3 there was success for her colleagues, gold and silver. In the closest women’s singles final of the day, Andela Muzinic recovered from a two games to nil deficit to beat colleague Helena Dretar (6-11, 8-11, 11-5, 11-3, 11-6).
“It’s never easy to play against a team partner. In the final against Helena Dretar I made many mistakes in the first two games. I had tactics in my mind, in the third game, they worked better. Last year I was not here in Lignano so I am happy I have won this time; this season the most important competition will be the European Championships. In the last edition I was silver medalist. I have never beaten Sweden’s Ahlqvist. I would like to face her again in the final.” Andela Muzinic
Delight for Croatia, also for the host nation, Giada Rossi retained her class 2 title, at the final hurdle beating Russia’s Nadejda Pushpasheva (11-7, 11-6, 11-3).
“I played well in the final. Russia’s Pushpasheva is a strong opponent and if she can play the way she likes it’s very difficult to face her. She has great experience, which helps her to change things in order overcome problems. I am training for the European Championships. I am working very hard at the Federal Centre in Verona and I feel well with my body, my technique and my mind. I am really happy.” Giada Rossi
Two titles for Croatia; it was the same for France and Poland. For France, Anne Barneoud emerged the class 7 winner; Thu Kamkasomphu claimed class 8 gold; for Poland Dora Buclaw prevailed in class 1, Karolina Pek in class 9.
Meanwhile, in the remaining events, it was honours shared. Israel’s Caroline Tabib claimed the top prize in class 5; likewise it was success in class 6 for Ukraine’s Maryna Lytovchenko, in class 11 for Russia’s Elena Prokofeva.
Women’s team events now follow, play in Lignano concludes on Saturday 16th March.
Lignano Masters Open: Draw and Full Results