Places in the main draw at stake, hard fought contest were the order of the day in the second preliminary round; none more so than those experienced by India’s Krittwika Roy and Pooja Sahasrabudhe alongside the combination of Italy’s Li Xiang and Russia’s Polina Mikhailova.
Both pairs needed the full five games to secure their places in the next stage. Eventually Krittwika Roy and Pooja Sahasrabudhe overcame the combination of Croatia’s Ida Jazbec and Slovenia’s Ana Tofant (7-11, 11-8, 11-9, 9-11, 11-9); Li Xiang and Polina Mikhailova ended the hopes of Hong Kong’s Liu Qi and Mak Tze Wing (11-5, 11-5, 7-11, 8-11, 11-6).
South Americans book main draw places
The combination formed by Argentina’s Gaston Alto and Chile’s Nicolas Burgos, alongside the all Chilean partnership of Gustavo Gomez and Juan Lamadrid maintained the form of earlier in the day to reserve main draw places.
Gaston Alto and Nicolas Burgos accounted for the host nation’s Dimitrij Levajac and Ilija Majstorovic (11-6, 11-6, 10-12, 13-11); Gustavo Gomez and Juan Lamadrid withstood a spirited recovery by Yuki Matsuyama and Masaki Takami (11-9, 11-9, 6-11, 10-12, 11-8).
Alas for Nigeria’s Ismalia Akindiya and Olajide Omotayo, who had also impressed in the opening preliminary round, it was defeat. They were beaten by Sweden’s Simon Ardvisson and Elias Ranefur (11-5, 11-8, 11-8).
Disappointment for host nation duo
It was disappointment for the host nation, Anelia Lupulesku and Andrea Todorovic suffered an opening preliminary round defeat at the hands of the combination formed for Romania’s Arina Singeorzan and Bulgaria’s Maria Yovkova (9-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-3).
A hard fought contest, it was even harder for Russia’s Daria Chernova and Maria Malanina who needed the full five games to beat Croatia’s Hana Arapovic and Andrea Pavlovic (13-11, 10-12, 9-11, 11-8, 11-4). Meanwhile for the combination of Ida Jazbec, also from Croatia in partnership with Slovenia’s Ana Tofant, it was even more intense. Eventually they overcame Spain’s Ana Garcia and Marina Niguez by the very narrowest of decisions (4-11, 11-4, 11-6, 4-11, 11-9).
Nigeria’s Ismalia Akindiya and Olajide Omotayo raised the eyebrows in the opening preliminary round; they beat Hong Kong’s Kwan Man Ho and Li Hon Ming by the minimal two point margin in the decider (5-11, 11-9, 7-11, 11-9, 11-9).
A close call, it was the same for Japan’s Yuki Matsuyama and Masaki Takami; they needed the full five games to overcome Russia’s Ilya Isakov and Aleksandr Tuitiumov (16-14, 5-11, 6-11, 17-15, 11-6).
Latin Americans hold nerve
Argentina’s Gaston Alto in harness with Chile’s Nicolas Burgos maintained their nerve in the opening preliminary round, as did the latter’s colleagues Gustavo Gomez and Juan Lamadrid.
Gaston Alto and Nicolas Burgos withstood a spirited recovery by India’s Birdie Boro and Snehit Suravajjula to emerge successful by the very narrowest of margins (11-8, 13-11, 13-15, 9-11, 12-10); in a equally tense contest Gustavo Gomez and Juan Lamadrid accounted for Sweden’s Fabian Akerstrom and Willhelm Percan Kindblad (11-8, 8-11, 11-7, 8-11, 11-9).
Vital second places
Players finishing in first and second positions in each group advanced to the main draw; the host nation’s Tijana Jokic, Croatia’s Hana Arapovic and Italy’s Li Hong Loan started play as the lowest ranked in their respective groups; they needed to win their concluding matches to secure the vital runners up spot.
All succeeded; Tijana Jokic beat Kazakhstan’s Gulchekhra Khusseinova (11-3, 11-5, 11-5), Hana Arapovic accounted for Slovakia’s Ema Labosova (11-6, 11-7, 12-14, 11-3); Le Thi Hong Loan ended the hopes of Anelia Lupulesku, like Tijana Jokic from Serbia (8-11, 11-9, 11-5, 5-11, 11-6).
Notable efforts secure top spots
Contrary to expectations India’s Krittwika Roy ended the initial phase matches in first place in her group; she concluded matters by beating Croatia’s Andrea Pavlovic (11-9, 6-11, 11-5, 12-10). Notably the finish was one step higher than her status predicted. However, she was not the only player who commenced as the second highest in the group phase to reserve top spot.
Hong Kong’s Zhang Wenling performed likewise, as did Russia’s Kristina Kazantseva and Anna Bikbaeva alongside Serbia’s Monika Knezevic and Aneta Maksuti.
In their concluding group contests, Zhang Wenling beat Spain’s Mariana Niguez (11-4, 11-2, 11-7), Kristina Kazantseva accounted for Kazakhstan’s Aisu Saparova (11-5, 11-2, 11-6); Anna Bikbaeva defeated Serbia’s Ivana Vejnovic (8-11, 11-8, 12-10, 11-4). Likewise Monika Knezevic prevailed against Slovenia’s Ana Tofant (7-11, 11-8, 10-12, 11-9, 11-3), Aneta Maksuti succeeded in opposition to Japan’s Moe Nomura (11-8, 11-9, 12-10).
From third to first
Leili Mostafavi of France alongside the host nation’s Monika Knezevic and Japan’s Ari Abe started proceedings as the lowest rated players in their respective groups; all remained unbeaten to finish in first places.
In their concluding initial phase contests, Leili Mostafavi beat Spain’s Ana Garcia (11-5, 13-15, 11-9, 13-11), Monika Knezevic accounted for Slovenia’s Ana Tofant (7-11, 11-8, 10-12, 11-9, 11-3); Airi Abe over the host nation’s Andjela Menger (11-5, 11-5, 11-4).
Unbeaten to date, as the initial phase matches concluded, a series of determined performances saw wins recorded against the highest rated players in their respective groups to secure top spots and main draw reservations.
Germany’s Nils Hohmeier beat Hong Kong’s Li Hon Ming (11-6, 7-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-7), Frenchman Jules Rolland overcame Canada’s Marco Medjugorac. Meanwhile, Kwan Man Ho balanced the books for Hong Kong by ending the hopes Saudi Arabia’s Ali Alkhadrawi (11-6, 12-14, 11-9, 11-9). Similarly, Russia’s Lev Katsman defeated Kazakhstan’s Denis Zholudev (11-6, 13-11, 11-7), Japan’s Kakeru Sone proved too strong for Italy’s Chen Shuainan.
Narrow margins secure first places
Only first place assured progress to the main draw, by the very narrowest of margins Japan’s Shogo Tahara and Slovenia’s Peter Hribar advanced. Furthermore, both beat the highest rated players in their respective groups to maintain their unbeaten records and reserve first places.
Shogo Tahara overcame Argentina’s Gaston Alto (11-13, 11-6, 16-14, 9-11, 12-10), Peter Hribar accounted for Germany’s Gerrit Engemann (11-8, 10-12, 11-6, 4-11, 13-11).
Vildan Gadiev returns to form
Having the previous day lost to Zhang Kai of the United States in five games (11-8, 8-11, 7-11, 11-8, 11-9), Russia’s Vildan Gadiev, the highest ranked player on duty needed an emphatic win to secure first place in his group.
He faced Saudi Arabia’s Abdulaziz Bu Shulaybi, the victor in three straight games (11-5, 27-25, 11-8) in opposition to Zhang Kai in the opening match in the group. Vildan Gadiev responded, he beat Abdulaziz Bu Shulaybi in straight games (11-4, 11-9, 11-2). Thus on games ratio (5:3) he secured first place in the group ahead of Abdulaziz Bu Shulaybi (3:3) and Zhang Kai (3:5).
Under 21 Women’s Singles
Leili Mostafavi of France beat Spain’s Ana Garcia (11-3, 14-12, 6-11, 11-8) in her concluding initial phase match; similarly, Russia’s Kristina Kazantseva accounted for Slovakia’s Nikoleta Puchovanova (11-5, 11-7, 11-6) but they were the only two names who started proceedings as the top ranked players in each of the eight groups to finish in first places.
Only the group winners gained main draw places. The previous day Serbia’s Tijana Jokic, Slovakia’s Natalia Grigelova, Croatia’s Hana Arapovic and Japan’s Moe Nomura, all the lowest rated players in their respective groups, had reserved top spots. On the second morning, starting the day the second rated, the host nation’s Sabina Surjan and Croatia’s Andrea Pavlovic followed suit.
Differing fortunes for hosts
Under 21 Women’s Singles
Sabina Surjan booked her place in the main draw by upsetting the odds; in her concluding initial stage contest she beat Hungary’s Orsolya Feher (11-13, 11-2, 11-5, 11-9), the highest ranked player in her group to remain unbeaten and reserved top spot.
Alas for colleague, Izabela Lupulesku it was the opposite scenario. The leading name in her group, she was beaten by Croatia’s Andrea Pavlovic (11-7, 11-5, 6-11, 12-10).
Agony for Mudit Dani
Under 21 Men’s Singles
India’s Mudit Dani completed his group on a high note; he beat Iran’s Amin Ahmadian in four games (11-7, 4-11, 13-11, 11-8) but it was not sufficient to gain a top two finish and thus progress to the main draw.
On the opening day he had suffered a straight games defeat at the hands of Romania’s Paul Mladin (11-5, 12-10, 14-12), who had then experienced defeat when facing Amin Ahmadian in four games (11-8, 7-11, 11-8, 11-5). Thus on games ratio it was first place for Paul Mladin (4:3) followed by Amin Ahmadian (4:4) and Mudit Dani (3:4).
Surprise first places
Under 21 Men’s Singles
Contrary to expectations, Japan’s Shogo Tahara, Canada’s Jeremy Hazin and Russia’s Maxim Chaplygin, alongside Tian Ye of the United States emerged the players to secure first places in their respective groups; all remained unbeaten.
In their concluding matches, Shogo Tahara beat Chile’s Nicolas Burgos (7-11, 11-7, 7-11, 11-8, 11-7), Jeremy Hazin accounted for Serbia’s Dimitrije Levajac (11-9, 11-9, 11-8). Likewise, Maxim Chaplygin overcame England’s Matthew Daish (11-8, 11-9, 11-7), Tian Ye defeated Pero Tepic, like Dimitrije Levajac from the host nation (11-4, 11-3, 11-9).
The consolation for Nicolas Burgos and Dimitrij Levajac was that was their only defeat and thus they finished in second places and advanced to the main draw.