by Ian Marshall, Editor
In an event where there was minimal margin for error, first place in group no.1 to group no.23 guaranteeing a main draw place, in group no.24 to group no.41, a preliminary round being required for the winners, the trio ended their first phase itinerary of matches in style by overcoming the highest rated player in their respective groups.
Michel Levinski beat Belgium’s Florian Cnudde (11-9, 11-6, 8-11, 11-7), Martin Andersen overcame Qatar’s Mohammed Abdulwahhab (12-10, 12-10, 11-8), Guilherme Teodoro ended the hopes of the host nation’s Carlos Franco (14-12, 11-5, 8-11, 11-8).
Undoubtedly for Florian Cnudde, it was not the best of days, the top seed in the under 21 men’s singles event he was beaten in the opening round by Uzbekistan’s Abdulaziz Anorboev (11-4, 7-11, 9-11, 11-7). A surprise defeat; for the next in line, Romania’s Rares Sipos, Frenchman Jules Rolland and Russia’s Denis Ivonin, there were no such travails.
Problems for highly rated names; in the men’s singles there were more as the day progressed. Slovenia’s Peter Hribar, India’s Mudit Dani and Egypt’s Mahmoud Helmy all experienced defeats. Conversely, Chinese Taipei’s Yang Heng-Wei and Frenchman Enzo Angles, the top two names on men’s singles first stage duty ended the day without blemish.
Meanwhile, in the first phase of the women’s singles, an event in which players finishing in first and second positions in each of the 16 groups gain main draw places, there was a host of casualties.
Leading names in their respective groups, Kazakhstan’s Anastassiya Lavrova, Hungary’s Orsolya Feher, Slovakia’s Eva Jurkova and colleague Nikoleta Puchovanova all ended the day without a win to their name. A convincing win in her concluding match on the second day of action for Nikoleta Puchovanova against Romania’s Tania Plaian, in a group of four players, might just be sufficient; for Anastassiya Lavrova, Orsolya Feher and Eva Jurkova, three players in the group, it is the end of the road.
Likewise, having experienced defeats on the opening day, there is an uncertain future for prominent names in the guise of Singapore’s Goi Rui Xuan, Russia’s Anastasia Kolish, Tunisia’s Fadwa Garci and Puerto Rico’s Daniely Rios alongside Denmark’s Stephanie Christensen and Alina Nikitchanka of Belarus.
The conclusion, of the highest rated in their respective groups in the women’s singles qualification, only Hungary’s Leonie Hartbricht, Germany’s Chantal Mantz, Spain’s Liu Xin and Slovenia’s Ana Tofant alongside Oceane Guisnel of France ended the day unbeaten.
The leading names in the under 21 women’s singles event have yet to start their adventures.
Qualification concludes on Wednesday 5th February.
1st place in Grp no.1 to Grp no.23 receive direct entry to main draw.
1st place in Grp no.24 to Grp no.41 advance to preliminary round?