2015 Women's World Cup: Main Draw
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2015 Women’s World Cup Day 1: Georgina Pota beat Caroline Kumahara to book her place in the main draw Photo By: Hideyuki Imai / Studio Aupa

2015 Women’s World Cup: Main Draw Places Secured, First Stage Concludes in Sendai

2015 Women’s World Cup: Main Draw Places Secured, First Stage Concludes in Sendai
Courtesy of ITTF

Austria’s Liu Jia, Hungary’s Georgina Pota and Germany’s Irene Ivancan booked their places in the main draw of the Women’s World Cup in Sendai by emerging successful in the concluding matches in the group stage of proceedings on the afternoon of Friday 30th October.

Meanwhile, Li Jiao of the Netherlands and Egypt’s Dina Meshref confronted each other to decide first place in the group, both being assured of a place in the second stage prior to the concluding matches being enacted.

Dina Meshref: 2015 Womens World Cup - Photo courtesy of ITTF

Dina Meshref: 2015 Womens World Cup – Photo courtesy of ITTF

Li Jiao, the no.13 seed, accounted for Dina Meshref, the no.18 seed, in four straight games (11-7, 11-5, 11-5, 11-4); experience and the pen-hold left handed style being totally alien to the young lady from Cairo.

First Time Met Style
“I’ve practised against Chinese players but never against anyone with her style”, said Dina Meshref. “She was so good on the big points, her service is very good, I could read the spin on the ball but I still put the ball into the net!”

Nevertheless, it was all smiles from Dina Meshref, who is the first player from Africa to reach the main draw at a Women’s World Cup.

“Yes, I’m really pleased to have the record”, smiled Dina Meshref. “Just hope I can get a good draw tomorrow; not one of the Chinese!”

Respect
A straight games success but Li Jiao had every respect for her adversary.

“She’s a bright girl”, said Li Jiao. “She plays in a clever way, she puts a lot of top spin on the ball; she‘s good.”

Opponent Played Well
Success for Li Jiao; at the same time on the adjacent table; it was success for Liu Jia. The no.14 seed, she beat Australia’s Jian Fang Lay, the no.19 seed, in six games (11-6, 4-11, 11-6, 7-11, 11-8, 11-6).

“It’s just simple from my point of view, she played well, she played really well”, said Liu Jia. “Tactically I had to play wide to her forehand; I felt that was where I could gain the greatest success.”

Racket Problem
Certainly Jian Fang Lay raised eyebrows as at times she threw caution to the wind with her forehand; however, it was not a happy Australian who left the arena.

“Today I had my racket tested before the match and it failed”, said Jian Fang Lay. “I really cannot understand; it’s the same racket that I used yesterday and it passed, it’s the same racket as this morning and it passed, now this afternoon it did not pass, so I used my spare racket.”

Minimal Problems
Problems for Jiang Fan Lay but there were only minimal problems for Irene Ivancan, the no.16 seed and Georgina Pota, the 15 seed.

Irene Ivancan used her defensive skills to good effect to beat Canada’s Zhang Mo, the no.17 seed (11-8, 11-5, 11-13, 11-4, 11-4).

Mo Zhang: 2015 Women's World Cup - Photo courtesy of ITTF

Mo Zhang: 2015 Women’s World Cup – Photo courtesy of ITTF

“I don’t think there are many defenders in Canada”, explained Irene Ivancan. “She played everything in my favor, she pushed the ball without much backspin and I was able to attack; she plays with pimpled rubber on the forehand but I’m quite used to playing pimples so it wasn’t a big problem; now let’s hopes for a good draw!”

Prefers Right Handers
Success for Irene Ivancan after having lost to Turkey’s Hu Melek earlier in the day (11-8, 10-12, 11-9, 11-9, 7-11, 11-2); it was also success for Georgina Pota who in her opening match had been beaten by Germany’s Petrissa Solja (15-13, 11-4, 11-7, 11-7).

“Against Petrissa this morning, I always have problems playing her, she’s left handed and I don’t like playing left handers, she plays the ball wide to my forehand and then I’m struggling”, explained Georgina Pota. “Against Caroline it was different, she’s right hand and she has a good backhand but that’s also my strength so I was happy playing to her backhand.”

Consternation
However, there was one moment of consternation.

“In the fourth game, the umpire faulted my service”, added Georgina Pota. “I lost concentration so it was really important that I won the fifth game; had I lost that game it would have been three-two, she would have been more confident and who knows what might have happened.”

Players finishing in first and second places in each of the four groups join the eight seeds in the first round.

SCHEDULE
Saturday October 31st  – Round One

10:00am – Table 1: Dina Meshref (Egypt) vs Ai Fukuhara (Japan)
10:00am – Table 2: Feng Tianwei (Singapore) vs Petrissa Solja (Germany)
10:50am – Table 1: Kasumi Ishikawa (Japan) vs Irene Ivancan (Germany)
10:50am – Table 2: Liu Jia (Austria) vs Seo Hyowon (Korea)
11:40am – Table 1: Liu Shiwen (China) vs Cheng I-Ching (Chinese Taipei)
11:40am – Table 2: Hu Melek (Turkey) vs Li Jie (Netherlands
12:30pm – Table 1: Zhu Yuling (China) vs Georgina Pota (Hungary)
12:30pm – Table 2: Yang Haeun (Korea) vs Li Jiao (Netherlands)

Highlight Video: HU Melek vs IVANCAN Irene (Qual Groups)

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