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Wu Yue – Photo courtesy of ITTF

Top First Stage Places Secured by Leading Names, Lower Down Order Surprises

Top First Stage Places Secured by Leading Names, Lower Down Order Surprises

2016 ITTF World Tour Slovenia Open
Courtesy of ITTF

Hong Kong’s Zhu Chengzhu and Zheng Jiaqi of the United States, the leading two names on duty in the qualification stage of the Women’s Singles event at the 2016 ITTF World Tour Slovenia Open in Otocec, both concluded their first phase matches in top places in their respective groups on Wednesday June 1st.

Thus they reserved their places in the main draw.

Likewise, for the next two names in the order of merit, it was first place without due alarm; Spain’s Sara Ramirez and Manika Batra completed their initial phase contests without defeat.

Problems for Notable Names
Top spot secured as expected but lower down the order there were instances of the highest rated player in the group suffering defeat.

Romania’s Adina Diaconu experienced problems, as did Brazil’s Bruna Takahashi; likewise there were troubled times for the French trio of Audrey Zarif, Marie Migot and Emmanuelle Lennon.

Biggest Surprise
However, arguably the biggest surprise of all was the defeat experienced by Wu Yue, like Zheng Jiaqi from the United States and just under one year ago the winner of the Women’s Singles event at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto.

Listed at no.177 on the current Women’s World Rankings, a position that belies her status, she beat the host nation’s Aleksandra Vovk (13-11, 11-5, 11-8, 11-5), before losing to Hong Kong’s Lam Yee Lok (11-4, 12-10, 11-9, 11-4).

The win over Aleksandra Vovk was no surprise, she is named at no.577 in the present global order; the defeat at the hands of Lam Yee Lok was an upset. She is listed at no.201.

Players finishing in first and second places in each of the 16 groups, advance to the main draw to join the 32 seeds.

Wu Yue can still qualify but the future looks bleak, a celebrated Korean name, Kim Kyungah, is the one player in the group unbeaten. She accounted for Lam Yee Lok (11-2, 11-5, 11-8, 11-6) and Aleksandra Vovk (11-6, 11-2, 11-5, 11-3).

Each player has one match remaining in the group.

Outlook Brighter
A bleak outlook for Wu Yue, for the other leading names to experience problems, the outlook is brighter.
Named at no.137 on the current Women’s World Rankings, Adina Diaconu lost to Italy’s Giorgia Piccolin, listed at no.329 (10-12, 11-7, 6-11, 7-11, 11-5, 13-11, 11-5), before accounting for Oceane Guisnel of France, named at no.260 (11-9, 11-6, 11-5, 11-4).

Similarly, Bruna Takahashi, listed at no.155 was beaten by Chinese Taipei’s Wang Yi-Ju, named at no.239, after having lost to Croatia’s Andrea Pavlovic who stands at no.387 911-5, 3-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-7).

French Heartaches
Problems for the United States, Romania and Brazil but the country to experience the greatest heartaches was France, it was not the best of days.

Audrey Zarif beat Slovenia’s Ana Tofant (11-5, 15-13, 11-8, 9-11, 4-11, 12-10), prior to losing to Chinese Taipei’s Lin Chia-Chih (7-11, 11-3, 11-7, 11-5, 11-4).

Presently Audrey Zarif is listed at no.156 on the Women’s World Rankings; Ana Tofant is at no.410, Lin Chia-Chih at no.227.

Marie Migot and Emmanuelle Lennon 
Difficult times for Audrey Zarif; it was the same for Marie Migot and Emmanuelle Lennon.

Named at no.173 on the Women’s World Rankings, Marie Migot beat Italy’s Le Thi Hong Loan, a player with no global status, before losing to India’s Ankita Das, listed at no.208 (9-11, 5-11, 5-11, 11-9, 14-12, 11-8, 11-8).

Success for Ankita Das against Marie Migot, it was the same in opposition to Slovenia’s Rebeka Lukic. Ankita Das recorded a straight games win (12-10, 11-6, 11-3, 11-2) and is thus the one player in the group unbeaten at the conclusion of the first day’s play.

Similar Situation 
The situation is the same for Emmanuelle Lennon; she accounted for the host nation’s Ursska Chokelj (11-3, 11-8, 11-1, 11-3) but lost to Romania’s Irina Ciobanu (5-11, 11-3, 11-9, 13-11, 11-6).

Irina Ciobanu remains the one unbeaten player in the group; in her one further contest, she accounted for Sderbia’s Anelia Lupulesku (11-9, 11-5, 11-2, 11-2).
Presently on the Women’s World Rankings, Emmanuelle Lennon is at no.189, Irina Ciobanu at no.200; Anelia Lupulesku has no such rating.

Japan in Evidence 
Meanwhile, as matters commenced in the Under 21 Women’s Singles event, it was success for the leading names on first stage duty with Japan to the fore.

Kana Takeuchi beat Croatia’s Ema Marn (11-4, 11-4, 11-9), Saki Shibata accounted for Slovenia’s Lea Paulin (11-5, 11-1, 11-4), while Yuki Kato defeated Aleksandra Vovk, also from Slovenia (11-7, 11-5, 11-3).

Success for France 
Success for three promising young Japanese players, for the one member of the top four not from the Land of the Rising Sun, it was also an impressive opening match success.

Marie Migot caused Slovenia more pain; she beat Ana Tofant (11-13, 11-6, 11-7, 11-9).

Qualification Concludes 
Play in the qualification phase of all events concludes on Thursday June 2nd.

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