Russian Seizes Opportunity
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Anastasia Kolish who beat both Crystal Wang and Mariam Alhodaby Photo By: Hisham Makram

Russian Seizes Opportunity, Anastasia Kolish Reserves Last Four Place

Russian Seizes Opportunity, Anastasia Kolish Reserves Last Four Place
2015 ITTF World Cadet Challenge
Courtesy of ITTF

Places in the last four booked by Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz, Brazil’s Bruna Takahashi and Romania’s Andreea Dragoman; the respective top three seeds in the Girls’ Singles event at the 2015 ITTF Cadet Challenge in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt; the one somewhat surprise name to join the last four on the evening of Friday October 30th was that of Russia’s Anastasia Kolish.

Occupying the no.6 seeded position in the draw, she accounted for Crystal Wang of the United States, the no.5 seed, in the opening round (11-6, 14-12, 11-5, 6-11, 4-11, 12-10), before reserving her place in the penultimate round by overcoming surprise quarterfinalist, the host nation’s Mariam Alhodaby (8-11, 11-5, 6-11, 11-3, 11-7, 11-9).

First Round Upset
One round earlier, Mariam Alhodaby caused a first round upset by overcoming Sweden’s Christina Källberg, the no.4 seed (11-9, 12-10, 6-11, 11-9, 11-7).

“At first when I saw the draw I thought this match will be difficult and I couldn’t win; also as it was best of seven games, I thought it will be impossible”, said Mariam Alhodaby after her success against Christina Källberg.

“In the early part of the match I was a little nervous because I couldn’t receive her serves well, after I won the first game I felt more calm”, added Mariam Alhodaby. “In the match I had to change my tactics as she became aware of my style; also I changed my plans and I tried to make the rallies as long as possible.”

Similar Response
A pleased Mariam Alhodaby, it was the same response from Anastasia Kolish, after her first round win against Crystal Wang.

“I won the first three games but then she started to play really strongly; the sixth game was difficult, I led 10-7 but then lost the next three points; I wasn’t nervous the problem was receiving her service”, said Anastasia Kolish. “My match against Mariam was difficult, she played very well but I am happy that I have reached the semi-final.”

Impressive Performances
Success against host nation opposition at the quarterfinal stage for Anastasia Kolish, it was the same for Bruna Takahashi; she beat Rinad Fathy (11-4, 11-5, 11-7, 11-3).

An impressive quarter-final performance by Bruna Takahashi, it was the same from Adriana Diaz and from Andreea Dragoman.

Adriana Diaz accounted for Russia’s Elizabet Abraamian (11-5, 11-8, 11-6, 4-11, 15-13), Andrea Dragoman overcame a most testing adversary in the guise of Japan’s Maki Shiomi (8-11, 4-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-4, 11-4).

Nervous Moment
“I am very happy now that I have reached the semi-final, I hope to play well and win the next match”, said Andreea Dragoman. “I was afraid a little bit at the start so it was two-zero for her but my coach supported me and told me to change my serve.”

At the semi-final stage Adriana Diaz meets Andreea Dragoman, Anastasia Kolish opposes Bruna Takahashi.

Surprise Doubles Defeat, Team Asia Causes Upsets
Success for Adriana Diaz and Bruna Takahashi in the Girls’ Singles event but in the Girls’ Doubles competition there was a shock defeat; the top seeds, they departed proceedings at the quarterfinal stage.

They were beaten by the combination of India’s Shruti Haleangadi and Thailand’s Jinnipa Sawettabut (6-11, 11-5, 11-8, 11-9).

“It seemed like we are connected together, we tried to communicate it was a very difficult match, but it was possible”, said Shruti Haleangadi. “We tried to play our game, not too hard and wait for the moment when we could smash the ball; we hope to win this tournament.”

Success for Team Asia against expectations, there was one more; Korea’s Choi Haeeun and Japan’s Maki Shiomi combined to beat Andrea Dragoman and Christina Källberg, the no.2 seeds (11-5, 11-7, 11-2).

“I told them they should relieve their nerves by smiling and to have fun”, said Murata Atsushi, the coach on duty. “I hope they can maintain their form and win the next match.”

Status Prevails
Two upsets, in the other two quarterfinal Girls’ Doubles encounters, matters advanced as seeding predicted with Anastasia Kolish enjoying more success.

Partnering the Czech Republic’s Zdena Blaskova and occupying the no.3 seeded position in the draw, the duo accounted for the Canadian pairing of Laura Lai and Ivy Liao (11-4, 11-9, 9-11, 11-7).

Defeat for North America but in the opposite half of the draw there was success; Crystal Wang and Grace Yang of the United States accounted for the Latin American partnership of the Dominican Republic’s Esmerlyn Castro and Guatemala’s Lucia Cordero (11-2, 11-9, 6-11, 8-11, 11-5).

Semi-Finals
Crystal Wang and Grace Yang face Choi Haeeun and Maki Shiomi in the lower half of the draw at the semi-final stage of proceedings; in the top half Anastasia Kolish and Zdena Blaskova oppose Shruti Haleangadi and Jinnipa Sawettabut.

Mixed Doubles
Semi-finalists decided in the Girls’ Singles and Girls’ Doubles events; they were also decided in the Mixed Doubles competition.

In the penultimate round Sweden’s Truls Moregard and Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz meet the combination of Japan’s Koyo Kanamitsu and Crystal Wang of the United States; Tunisia’s Nathael Hamdoun and Egypt’s Marwa Alhodaby face Romania’s Cristian Pletea and New Zealand’s Cheng Zhiying.

Playing Well Together
“We play well together”, said Cristian Pletea”. I explain some things; she spins the ball well; we co-operate well.”

A pleased Cristian Pletea, it was the same reaction from Cheng Zhiying. “I was sure if I could get the ball on the table, he will get the next one on, so as long as I can do my job he will do his.”

Co-operation
Likewise Crystal Wang was pleased with the understanding established with Koyo Kanamitsu.

“We both know each other well”, she said. “He tells me how to play and we were co-operating well.”

Co-operation, the key to success and it is the overall key to a highly successful 2015 ITTF World Cadet Challenge.

Play Concludes
Proceedings conclude in Sharm El-Sheikh on Saturday October 31st.

Watch the Semi-finals & Finals Live now, plus visit ITTF.com for complete coverage.

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