by Ian Marshall, Editor
In February in the Czech Republic and in France she excelled. In the former she reached the junior girls’ singles quarter-finals, the cadet girls’ singles semi-finals; in the latter she was a junior girls’ singles semi-finalist, the cadet girls’ singles runner up.
Two months later, she returned to Europe; in France as in the Czech Republic, she advanced to the junior girls’ singles last eight, notably she struck cadet girls’ singles gold.
On the second day of action in Wladyslawowo, in the later rounds she ended Polish hopes. At the quarter-final stage she accounted for Anna Wegrzyn, the top seed, by the very narrowest of decisions, recovering from a 6-9 deficit in the seventh (11-9, 9-11, 11-3, 6-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-9), before in the final overcoming twin sister Katarzyna Wegrzyn, the no.5 seed (14-12, 13-11, 11-6, 11-9).
Sandwiched in between, in the penultimate round, Sakura Yokoi had ended the hopes of Germany’s Franziska Schreiner, the no.6 seed (12-14, 11-8, 11-8, 9-11, 11-9, 11-8), the winner one round earlier in opposition to Russia’s Kristina Kazantseva, the no.3 seed (11-5, 9-11, 5-11, 11-3, 11-8, 4-11, 12-10).
Impressive from Sakura Yokoi, in the opposite half of the draw it had been very much the same from Katarzyna Wegrzyn. At the quarter-final stage she had beaten the Czech Republic’s Zdena Blaskova, the no.2 seed (11-8, 5-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-9, 6-11, 12-10), prior to ousting Japanese qualifier, Hikari Okubo (6-11, 12-10, 11-6, 11-8, 11-7). Notably one round earlier, Hikari Okubo had ended the progress of Romania’s Tania Plaian, the no.4 seed (8-11, 8-11, 11-5, 13-11, 11-8, 11-6).
Disappointment for Anna Wegrzyn and Katarzyna Wegrzyn, it was the same in the junior girls’ doubles event; after ending the progress of Romania’s Tania Plaian and Elena Zaharia (11-9, 11-9, 11-7), they were beaten in the final by the combination of Zdena Blaskova and Franziska Schreiner (11-9, 11-9, 8-11, 7-11, 11-7). In the counterpart semi-final, Zdena Blaskova and Franziska Schreiner had accounted for Kristina Kazantseva and Russia colleague, Olga Vishniakova (11-9, 22-20, 11-8).
The junior girls’ singles event concluded, attention now turns to the junior girls’ team and cadet girls’ team competitions.