Round of 16 draw
The draw for the Round of 16 has been conducted – what’s your standout match?
Wu Yue tops group!
Group D – Match 3
Never before had Wu Yue won a Women’s World Cup fixture heading into this year’s event – today not only has she put that record to rest with victory over 2015 European champion Elizabeta Samara but has backed it up with her first win against Canadian star Zhang Mo on the international stage.
The United States player was simply more clinical than her North American colleague and raced into a commanding three games lead. Zhang responded in game four but it was nothing short of a consolation as Wu soon rediscovered her composure to finish at the summit of Group D (11-6, 11-4, 11-5, 8-11, 11-5).
Chen Szu-Yu takes runner-up spot
Group C – Match 3
Another brave performance from Jian Fang Lay but the experienced Australian player has fallen at the first hurdle in Chengdu following her second defeat of the day.
Having lost a nail-biting full distance duel with Germany’s Petrissa Solja earlier in the proceedings, Lay more than held her own against Chen Szu-Yu but the Chinese Taipei representative proved too strong on this occasion (11-9, 11-3, 9-11, 11-5, 11-8).
Egyptian holds her nerve
Group B – Match 3
The African continent will have representation in the Round of 16 after Egypt’s Dina Meshref successfully booked her spot in the main event thanks to a fantastic display in the Group B decider.
Leading Natalia Partyka 2-0, the Polish player attempted to find a way back into the contest drawing level at 2-2 with back-to-back game wins. However, Meshref didn’t lose heart as she raised her game to come out on top 4-2 (11-7, 11-5, 12-14, 8-11, 11-6, 11-5), claiming the runner-up spot in Group B in the process.
“Actually I am a bit disappointed. I lost the first match against Jeon Jihee. I expected that. I did not have any chance. She is just much better. The second match is the most important in the group. I thought I had a chance. I tried my best and it was not enough. She did better today.” Natalia Partyka
Lily makes the cut, Diaz misses out
Group A – Match 3
In a Pan-American battle for a place in the knockout stages, Lily Zhang saw off Adriana Diaz with what turned out to be a crunch match here in Chengdu.
The North American Zhang started very well against Diaz, giving her no time to settle – which turned out to be the critical factor. The Puerto Rican tried her best and at one point in the fifth game there seemed to be a chance of a comeback, but Zhang struck that down with three straight points and clinched the win 4-1 (12-10, 11-8, 9-11, 11-7, 13-11).
“I am happy to play here. This is my first World Cup. It is a new experience for me. I think I could play a little bit better. I feel very strange, but I need to learn from it. I hope I can win a match in my next World Cup.” Adriana Diaz
Final set of group matches await
The final 8 who make it to the main draw are about to be decided… Are you ready?
Zhang sends Samara packing
Group D – Match 2
The Romanian has had a tough start to the World Cup and needed a win to stay in the hunt for a final 16 place when she took on Mo Zhang of Canada.
“I was 2-7 behind in the seventh game, but I did not give up and tried my best to come back point by point. The cheering from the audience gave me a lot of confidence. I played more excited and firmly with their support.” Mo Zhang
In a strange match of polarity from both players, Elizabeta Samara and Zhang were locked at 3-3 at the end of six games, and the decider was a reflection of the entire match. With momentum swinging both ways, Zhang took her chance when Samara faltered at 8-8, winning match 4-3 (5-11, 11-4, 11-9, 3-11, 11-9, 1-11, 11-9) and ending the campaign for her opponent.
Solja speeds through
Group C – Match 2
Petrissa Solja made the main draw as she beat Chinese Taipei’s Chen Szu-Yu in a clinical display (11-7, 12-10, 9-11, 11-7, 11-4).
Unlike her previous thriller of a match versus Jian Fang Lay, Solja needed just the fives games to see off the challenge of Chen, who could not handle the deep table shots played by the German.
Jeon continues strong start
Group B – Match 2
Jeon Jihee made it two wins in two, as she beat Egypt’s Dina Meshref in a swift win here in Chengdu.
“This is my first World Cup trip. I am very looking forward to it. I am very happy now, but I am also very nervous. I just came from German Open and there is a bit jet lag. As a professional player, I think it in a more positive way and try my best to mobilize myself.” Jeon Jihee
Playing her first match for the day, Meshref looked slightly off the pace, with Jeon clearly in command. Her 4-1 (11-4, 11-8, 8-11, 11-7, 11-9) win puts her in control of her group and into the main draw.
Szocs rallies to another win
Group A – Match 2
Facing off against Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz, Bernadette Szocs was careful of the young South American’s attacking approach, as the match stretched to six games and 34 minutes (11-3, 11-9, 8-11, 11-7, 7-11, 11-2).
However, the experience of Szocs at this tournament prevailed, as the Romanian managed to beat back the forehand drives of Diaz consistently. With her second win of the group, Szocs is now assured a place in the main draw.
Solja-Lay entertain fans with a nail-biter
Group C – Match 1
Concluding the first matches across all groups, Petrissa Solja and Jian Fang Lay gave the fans a reason to ask for more as they were involved in a pendulum match lasting over 46 minutes.
“I just arrived here yesterday night and woke up very early this morning. But I did not feel any tiredness on the court. The match was tough. We played seven full games. I was fully prepared and I am happy to take the match. Of course first I want to qualify for the second stage. If I could be the winner of the group, then it would help for the second stage draw. I hope I can get good results here.” Petrissa Solja
With neither athlete giving up, it took something special from the German Solja to upset the running order of ‘one-game-each’ against the Australian veteran Lay, with the decider looming. In the seventh game, Solja finally got the upper hand and made it count, winning the tie 4-3 (11-8, 8-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-7, 12-10, 11-4)!
Wu upsets Samara in stunning fashion!
Group D – Match 1
Wu Yue has stunned the fans early on in the Sichuan Province Gymnasium as she defeated World Cup veteran Elizabeta Samara in straight games (11-8, 11-9, 11-6, 18-16)!
“This is my third time playing in World Cup. I am more experienced this time and make more preparation. I did not do well in receiving in the fourth game, so my coach called a timely time-out to cool me down. My first goal is to get qualified for the second stage. I will try my best to get progress to more rounds here” Wu Yue
Szocs handles a Lily scare
Group A – Match 1
Bernadette Szocs had an early reminder that there are no easy games when you play at the Women’s World Cup , with the wildcard from USA Lily Zhang giving the Romanian veteran a tough first battle.
“It’s my first match, but I came here last year. And I’m very happy to come back to Chengdu. Because I love this country, I also like playing in this stadium, everything is fine. I feel very good in here. Last year I did well, so I wasn’t very worried about the group game, because I’m seed nine. Also last time group matches I won, So my expectation for the match is good and I’m happy to win the first game. My goal is to progress into the second stage. Of course, if I can make it into the quarter finals, I hope I can get a medal. It’s my dream” Bernadette Szocs
Pushing the match to five games, Zhang had made sure Szocs was sweating throughout – more mentally than physically after winning the second game. The young American played her part well but Szocs had just a little too much experience to see out the tie at 4-1 (11-9, 8-11, 12-10, 11-7, 11-3).
Jeon starts big
Group B – Match 1
Korea Republic’s sole representative started with a powerful win over Polish Natalia Partyka, as Jeon Jihee came out on top 4-0 (11-5, 11-8, 11-1, 11-3).
Jeon was relentless from the start as she managed to win 23 points off her opponents serve, meaning Partyka never really got going in the opener here in Chengdu.