15 Mar 2021

Backspin skills held sway as the first four places in the women’s event at the Tokyo 2020 World Singles Olympic Games Qualification Tournament were decided in Doha on Monday 15th March.

Sweden’s Linda Bergström and Russia’s Polina Mikhailova caused major upsets as their backspin artistry remained firm and secure.

by Ian Marshall

The no.17 seed, Linda Bergström caused the biggest shock. After accounting for Mexico’s Yadira Silva, the no.30 seed (11-4, 11-6, 11-4, 11-8), the 26 year old overcame Ukraine’s Margaryta Pesotska, the no.2 seed (11-7, 13-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-9), a player who is no stranger to the defensive art.

She is an established member of the Ukraine national women’s team alongside Ganna Gaponova and Tetyana Bilenko. There is a theory that all defenders are different, point proven!

Similarly, Polina Mikhailova upset the order of precedence. The no.5 seed, she defeated Nadezhda Bogdanova of Belarus, the no.25 seed (11-9, 11-6, 11-3, 8-11, 11-3), before resolute defence combined with sporadic attacking play brought the downfall of Thailand’s Suthasini Sawettabut, the no.3 seed (11-8, 11-6, 9-11, 11-9, 7-11, 11-8).

Upsets, in the remaining contests matters advanced as status advised.

Top seed, Britt Eerland justified her billing. After eventually overcoming Chile’s Paulina Vega, the no.14 seed, in a tension-packed seven games encounter (11-8, 5-11, 8-1, 11-7, 11-7, 8-11, 11-6), the precious place was reserved courtesy of success in opposition to Spain’s Galia Dvorak, the no.16 seed (11-5, 12-10, 12-10, 11-7).

Success for Britt Eerland; to conclude the day it was success for Monaco’s Yang Xiaoxin. The no.4 seed, following a five games win in opposition to India’s Manika Batra, the no.9 seed (11-9, 11-4, 8-11, 11-4, 11-9), a dramatic seven games score-line was the order of proceedings against Spain’s Maria Xiao, the no.13 seed (14-12, 8-11, 4-11, 11-7, 11-3, 9-11, 12-10). A Tokyo place reserved; the result reflected the day; one of delight and delirium combined with despondency and despair.

One position remains, the losing finalist from each of the four events now competes on a knock-out basis for the one remaining place.

The matches will be played on Tuesday 16th March.

General News Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Britt Eerland Polina Mikhailova Yang Xiaoxin Linda Bergstrom

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