Top ranked players on duty in the Group stage of the Women’s Singles Event at the LIEBHERR ITTF European Championships cruised through the opening rounds.
Italy’s Giorgia PICCOLIN no.33 seed showed no weak points in two matches against Elisavet TERPOU of Greece (11:4, 8:11, 11:6, 11:7) and Norwegian opponent Rikke SKATTET (11-7, 11-2, 11-4).
Croatia’s Mateja JEGER, no.34 seed, also negotiated her opening fixture with little trouble, needing just the three games to beat Czech Republic’s Zdena BLASKOVA (11-4, 11-3, 11-7) .She repeated the success against Rebekka CARLSEN of Norway (11:4, 13:11, 11:9) to secure her position in the main draw.
“I was thinking it would be a little bit harder, but I feel so good. I like a fast game and this venue is just perfect for that,” said Mateja JEGER.
Maria YOVKOVA of Bulgaria faced different fate. Top ranked player in the Group three, she lost both her encounters today. In the morning hours she suffered by the hands of a special young talent who travelled to Warsaw in great form, Wales’ Anna HURSEY, the winner at the recent WTT Youth Series events in Vila Real and Tunis. The 15-year-old, seeded no.76 in the Polish capital, upset the player seeded 41 positions above her with YOVKOVA succumbing to a surprise 3-0 defeat (11:3, 11:8, 11:6). In second match, another young star, French player Prithika PAVADE won her opening match against Maria (5:11, 11:7, 9:11, 8:11).
Serbia’s Sabina SURJAN, seeded 38th, was another who would have been eyeing up a brighter start to life in the women’s singles event as she failed to capitalise on an early lead against the no.80 seed from Austria, Liu Yuan (7-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-5). She was back on track in the next duel against Ema LABOSOVA of Slovakia (11:5, 8:11, 11:7, 11:9).
In Group seven, both Ece HARAC of Turkey and Leila IMRE of Hungary upset the rankings. Tatiana KUKULKOVA of Slovakia lost to IMRE in four games (7:11, 10:12, 11:7, 9:11), whilst HARAC needed one less to beat Tatiana (5:11, 8:11, 8:11).
Success for HARAC but disappointed for Turkey’s Ozge YILMAZ. The top seed in group 9, no. 41 at the seedings, YILMAZ lost to host nation representative Katarzyna WEGRZYN (11:6, 3:11, 5:11, 7:11). Hana HARAPOVIC of Croatia also beat Ozge (10:12, 3:11, 11:3, 5:11).
Karoline MISCHEK of Austria showed no mercy on her way to the main draw. Austria’s player beat Tessy GONDERINGER of Luxembourg (11:3, 16:14, 11:8) and Katarina STRAZAR of Slovenia (11:7, 11:8, 12:10).