All six Europeans booked their places in the main draw in SendaiPhoto: Courtesy ITTF
Women’s World Cup in Japan
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. 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. Turkey’s HU Melek and Germany’s Petrissa SOLJA booked their places in the main draw by completing their first stage matches unbeaten.
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.
Nevertheless, it was all smiles from MESHREF, who is the first player from Africa to reach the main draw at a Women’s World Cup.
LIU Jia the no.14 seed, 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). Irene IVANCAN, the no.16 seed 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).
“I don’t think there are many defenders in Canada”, explained Irene IVANCAN. “She played everything in my favour, 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!”
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 , the 15 seed who in her opening match had been beaten by Germany’s Petrissa SOLJA (15-13, 11-4, 11-7, 11-7).
Players finishing in first and second places in each of the four groups join the eight seeds in the first round.
Saturday 31st October – Round One
10.00am –Dina MESHREF (Egypt) v Ai FUKUHARA (Japan)
10.00am –FENG Tianwei (Singapore) v Petrissa SOLJA (Germany)
10.50am –Kasumi ISHIKAWA (Japan) v Irene IVANCAN (Germany)
10.50am –LIU Jia (Austria ) v SEO Hyowon (Korea)
11.40am –LIU Shiwen (China) v CHENG I-Ching (Chinese Taipei)
11.40am –HU Melek (Turkey) v LI Jie (Netherlands)
12.30pm – ZHU Yuling (China) v Georgina POTA (Hungary)
12.30pm –YANG Haeun (Korea) v LI Jiao (Netherlands)