by Simon Daish
A player who continues to build valuable international experience, France’s Prithika Pavade couldn’t have asked for a better start to life in Women’s Qualifying Singles. The 17-year-old star needed just three games to navigate her opening round encounter against the host nation’s Polona Horvat (11-6, 11-6, 11-3) and moves on to face French colleague Marie Migot.
Leonie Hartbrich also progressed as anticipated, but it wasn’t at all plain sailing for the Hungarian. World-ranked 184th, Hartbrich was put to the test by Belarus’ Katsiaryna Baravok, requiring a mini-comeback against the world number 272, who fell short by the narrowest of margins (12-10, 5-11, 7-11, 11-8, 13-11).
The day proved less dramatic for Hartbrich’s compatriot Bernadett Balint, as Croat opponent Ida Jazbec found out the hard way (11-4, 11-7, 11-5). Elsewhere, Germany’s Chantal Mantz, India’s Selena Selvakumar and Singapore’s Wong Xin Ru extended their stay. However, the other Singapore player in action was dealt an early exit as Italy’s Gaia Monfardini ousted Goi Rui Xuan by a 3-2 scoreline (9-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-13, 11-4).
Fresh from their title success at WTT Contender Lasko, China’s Lin Gaoyuan and Zhou Qihao enjoyed an ideal start to Men’s Qualifying Doubles after posting a 3-0 victory over Luxembourg’s Eric Thillen and Switzerland’s Cedric Tschanz (11-3, 11-7, 11-6). However, it was a young French pair who turned heads as brothers Alexis, 18, and Felix Lebrun, 15, prevailed 3-2 against India’s Amalraj Anthony and Soumyajit Ghosh, who boast a combined age of 63 (11-6, 9-11, 11-7, 7-11, 11-1).
Two fixtures were contested in the opening round of Women’s Qualifying Doubles. Italy’s Gaia Monfardini and Valentina Roncallo emerged relatively unscathed against Slovenia’s Polona Horvat and Nusa Kadis (11-6, 11-6, 9-11, 11-5). Meanwhile, the Czech Republic’s Nikita Petrovova and Karolina Mynarova also made a winning start as they combined to see off England’s Maria Tsaptsinos and Emily Bolton (11-8, 8-11, 11-7, 11-9).
Qualifying resumes on Tuesday 9th November and features the introduction of Men’s Qualifying Singles. From 0900 to 1305 local time, 64 players begin their quest to reach the Men’s Singles main draw. Then, from 1500 onwards, the remaining 32 entries in Women’s Qualifying Singles take to the arena with no margin for error.
For event details of WTT Contender Novo Mesto, click here.