01 May 2019

Silver medallist in the women’s doubles event at the recently concluded Liebherr World Championships in partnership with colleague, Mima Ito; Japan’s Hina Hayata is the women’s singles top seed at Seamaster 2019 ITTF Challenge Serbia Open.

Play commences with qualification on Wednesday 1st May, the main draw beginning on Friday 3rd May.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

The top seeded position, by definition, suggests that the 18 year old is the favourite for gold, recent success endorses that fact.

Notably earlier this year at Seamaster Challenge Series tournaments, she won in both Portugal and Oman. In addition in 2016 she emerged successful on the ITTF World Tour in Melbourne and the following year at the Challenge Series tournament in Spain.

Likewise, Russia’s Polina Mikhailova, the no.5 seed and Hungary’s Szandra Pergel, the no.7 seed, have enjoyed ITTF World Tour success; Polina Mikhailova won in 2012 in Belarus, Szandra Pergel in the same year in both Belgium and Croatia. However, since that time, although most competitive, neither has been able to repeat that success.

It is a similar situation for the remaining major names on duty; early stages negotiated but the later rounds in women’s singles events at open international tournaments elusive. Hong Kong’s Minnie Soo Wai Yam and Ng Wing Nam are the respective second and third seeds. Slovakia’s Barbora Balazova is the next in the order of merit. Russia’s Yana Noskova is the no.6 seed; Spain’s Galia Dvorak completes the top eight names.

Major women’s singles challengers for honours, Ng Wing Nam and Minnie Soo Wai Yam, the winners last year in Slovenia, occupy the women doubles top seeded spot. They are listed ahead of Szandra Pergel and Hungarian colleague, Dora Madarasz. The French pairing of Pauline Chasselin and Stéphanie Loeuillette occupy the no.3 seeded position; Galia Dvorak in harness with Spanish compatriot, Zhang Sofia-Xuan complete the top four seeded pairs.

A strong French presence, it is the same in the under 21 women’s singles competition; Audrey Zarif heads list, Oceane Guisnel is the no.3 seed with Zhang Sofia-Xuan being sandwiched in between. Russia’s Maria Malanina is the no.4 seed.

Overall, 79 players compete in the women’s singles event; there are 28 women’s doubles pairs, a total of 32 players will be in the under 21 women’s singles action.

Challenge Series 2019 Seamaster Serbia Open Hina Hayata

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