by Ian Marshall, Editor
There was no shortage of tension
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 qualification duty, beat Saudi Arabia’s Abdulaziz Bu Shulaybi in straight games (11-4, 11-9, 11-2) to claim first place on games ratio. In the opening match in the group Abdulaziz Bu Shulaybi had accounted for Zhang Kai in straight games but note the score in the second (11-5, 27-25, 11-8). It could have all so different.
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 positions.
Latin America shone; the combination of Argentina’s Gaston Alto and Chile’s Nicolas Burgos booked main draw places as did Gustavo Gomez and Juan Lamadrid, both from Chile.
Close calls to book main draw places; the closest was that experienced by India’s Krittwika Roy and Pooja Sahasrabudhe. They overcame the combination of Croatia’s Ida Jazbec and Slovenia’s Ana Tofant by the narrowest of margins (7-11, 11-8, 11-9, 9-11, 11-9)
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 secured first places in their respective groups; all remained unbeaten
Under 21 Women’s Singles
Leili Mostafavi of France and Russia’s Kristina Kazantseva were the only two names who started proceedings as the top ranked players in each of the eight groups to finish in first places.