18 Apr 2019

Sometimes you draw the short straw; on Wednesday 17th April in the initial phase of the junior girls’ team event at the 2019 Belgium Junior and Cadet Open in Spa; Russia, the top seeds, drew the shortest straw possible.

In their qualification group, they drew China; three players who if they had been subject to a greater number of international tournaments would undoubtedly be amongst the highly listed on the under 18 girls’ world rankings.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

After both outfits had recorded 3-0 wins against the Czech trio formed by Anna Klempererova, Kristyna Penkavova and Lind Zaderova; the two teams met. China imposed its authority.

Winner of the junior girls’ singles title one day earlier, Zhang Xiaotong gave her team the perfect start by beating Elizabet Abraamaian (11-9, 11-7, 11-6), before Li Yuqi accounted for Anastasia Kolish (11-5, 11-13, 11-5, 11-7) to set the scene for Huang Yingqi to complete matters. She duly obliged, she overcame Olga Vishniakova (11-6, 7-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-2) to seal an emphatic victory.

Only first place in the group ensured progress to the quarter-finals. The “Lucky Loser” spots for finishing in runners up spot went to the Belgian contingent comprising Jana Bernard, Elodie Bossut, Estelle Duvivier and Awa Sow, alongside Sweden’s Jennie Edvinsson, Hanna Kjellson and Rebecca Muskantor; thus for the Russians, it was journey’s end.

An earlier than predicted exit for the top seeds, for the remaining outfits who started the day as to highest rated in their particular groups, it was success.

Three outfits very much attracted the attention. Poland’s Anna Wegrzyn, Katarzyna Wegrzyn and Aleksandra Michalak, the no.2 seeds, impressed as did the no.3 seeds, the German combination of Anastasia Bondareva, Sophia Klee. Similar to the no.6 seeds, the formation comprising Guatemala’s Lucia Cordero who lined up alongside India’s Swastika Ghosh and Manushree Patil, ended the day without conceding a single individual match.

All can proudly say they matched China! Play in the junior girls’ team competition concludes on Thursday 18th April.

World Junior Circuit 2019 Belgium Junior and Cadet Open Anastasia Kolish Olga Vishniakova Elizabet Abraamaian

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