13 Feb 2020

Maintaining rich traditions, ever since Angelica Rozeanu won the first of her six consecutive women’s singles titles at the 1950 World Championships in Budapest, always female players from Romania have been in the hunt for medals in the major tournaments on the international calendar.

On Thursday 13th February the concluding day of qualification at the 2020 ITTF Challenge Plus Portugal Open in Lisbon there was plenty of evidence that the scenario is set to continue; Adina Diaconu and Andreea Dragoman laid disappointments to rest and underlined their quality.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Both secured main draw places in the women’s singles event, they reached the quarter-finals of the under 21 women’s singles, together they advanced safely through the women’s doubles preliminary rounds.

Pride of place went to 19 year old Andreea Dragoman; listed at no.277 on the women’s world rankings, she ousted Pauline Chasselin of France named at 155 in the global order (11-4, 10-12, 11-6, 11-6, 11-9) to secure her place in the next stage..

The result may not appear earth shattering but one must take into account the fact that the previous week in Granada at the 2020 ITTF Challenge Series Spanish Open, she had endured a quite torrid time.

Defeats in Spain

She finished in second place in her group, losing to Japan’s 13 year old Yura Shinohara (11-9, 11-9, 11-6), runners up spot meant in place in the main draw but again an adversary from the Land of the Rising Sun proved her nemesis, she was beaten by Maki Shiomi (12-10, 10-12, 11-6, 11-4, 11-5).

Equally, in the under 21 women’s singles, it was a tournament to forget. The no.2 seed, she suffered defeat in her very first match, she lost to Russia’s Elizabet Abraamian (11-9, 11-9, 11-8). Furthermore, to add insult to injury, in their opening encounter in the women’s doubles qualification, as in Lisbon partnering Adina Diaconu, the pair experienced defeat at the hands of the Czech Republic’s Zdena Blaskova and Gabriele Stepanova (11-7, 11-6, 11-8).

Now clearly the Lisbon air is more palatable to Andreea Dragoman than that of Granada, again the no.2 seed, she duly accounted for Camille Lutz of France, the no.25 seed (7-11, 11-7, 11-9, 10-12, 11-4) to reserve her place in the under 21 women’s singles quarter-finals.

Wins for Adina Diaconu

Success and it was the same for Adina Diaconu. In addition to the women’s doubles success with Andreea Dragoman against Belgium’s Margo Degraef and Lisa Lung (11-3, 11-1, 9-11, 11-9) to book a main draw place; Adina Diaconu excelled when alone.

She beat Chinese Taipei’s Huang Yu-Chiao (12-10, 7-11, 11-4, 8-11, 11-6) to gain progress to the main draw before, occupying the no.3 seeded spot, overcoming Russia’s Anastasia Kolish, the no.14 seed (11-9, 11-8, 3-11, 11-9) to reach the last eight of the under 21 women’s singles event.

Impressive progress for Adina Diaconu (Photo: Rémy Gros)


Very much the form of last week in Granada was repeated, the no.3 seed, she reached the under 21 women’s singles final losing to Maki Shiomi, the top seed (11-7, 7-11, 12-10, 11-9).

Suffered agonies

Just as for Andreea Dragoman there had been disappointment when facing Maki Shiomi; similarly in the women’s singles event in Granada Adina Diaconu suffered agonies. In the opening round she won the first three games against Singapore’s Zeng Jian, before losing a titanic fourth and the match (9-11, 8-11, 9-11, 19-17, 11-4, 11-3, 11-4).

Such a result drains confidence; like Andreea Dragoman, Adina Diaconu has returned stronger.

Currently the Romanian first team in Daniela Monteiro Dodean, Elizabeta Samara and Bernadette Szocs. How soon before we see the names of Andreea Dragoman and Adina Diaconu?

One thing is certain, the dynasty is set to continue.

Challenge Series 2020 Portugal Open Adina Diaconu Andreea Dragoman

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Day 3 - 2020 ITTF Challenge Plus Portugal Open