16 Mar 2021

Seeded second for the women’s singles draw and one of the big favourites to seal qualification at the Tokyo 2020 World Singles Olympic Games Qualification Tournament, Ukraine’s Margaryta Pesotska leaves Doha with an air of disappointment after falling at the semi-final hurdle of the second stage knock-out event on Tuesday 16th March.

by Simon Daish

No margin for error having lost out to Sweden’s Linda Bergström in the knock-out 1 final, Pesotska was well aware that nothing short of victory would do against Thailand’s Suthasini Sawettabut. The European appeared to hold the advantage early on, strolling into a one-game lead with little to concern her. However, that would turn out to be her sole success of the match.

Always positive at the table, no.3 seed Sawettabut found another level to her performance, moving up through the gears nicely. Striking the ball with astonishing pace Sawettabut refused to give another inch, beating Pesotska by a 4-1 score-line (4-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-8, 11-9).

Two players who know each other well, Maria Xiao’s meeting with fellow Spaniard Galia Dvorak was always going to be a tale of mixed emotions with the victor both delighted to progress while also sympathetic toward the friendly face destined to miss out.

A roller coaster affair with incredible fast-paced rallies sprinkled throughout, it was no.16 seed Dvorak who struck first and she did so in quick fashion needing just under 13 minutes to race into a two-game lead against the no.13 seed. Dictating the tempo with her powerful forehand attack, Dvorak’s game plan looked to be working a treat, however, the tide of war was about to change!

Realising a different approach was required, Xiao was far more proactive from that point on and her fortunes took an immediate turn for the better with the next four games going in her direction to seal the win (3-11, 4-11, 11-7, 11-9, 12-10, 11-3).

Draw & Results

Where to watch

General News Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Galia Dvorak Margaryta Pesotska Maria Xiao Suthasini Sawettabut

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