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India Enjoys Success, Host Nation Players Excel in Women’s Singles First Stage
By: Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Divya Deshpande, who against expectations, topped her group  Photo By: Mauricio Val

12/19/2015        2015 20th Commonwealth Championships (Click here to access this section)

The leading names not required in the initial stage of the Women’s Singles event at the 20th Commonwealth Championships in Surat, India; it was the host nation who had the greatest reason to celebrate when play concluded on the evening of Saturday 19th December.

Divya Deshpande, Madhurika Patkar and Kritiwaka Roy, alongside Louiza Kourea of Cyprus excelled expectations to secure first places in their respective groups and thus advanced to the main draw in an event where there was minimal margin for error.

Only players finishing in first place in each of the eight groups advanced to the second stage.

Not World Ranked
None of the quartet with a current World ranking, Divya Deshpande accounted for Singapore’s Yee Herng Hwee (11-8, 11-5, 11-7), South Africa’s Zodwa Maphanga (11-6, 11-9, 11-9) and Sri Lanka’s Ruvini Kannangara (9-11, 13-15, 11-4, 11-6, 11-3).

Presently on the Women’s World Rankings, Yee Herng Hwee is at no.379, Zodwa Maphanga at no.668; Ruvini Kannangara has no global listing.

Surprise wins but it should be noted that in May 2014, Divya Deshpande was listed no.298; a recent absence from the international scene has resulted in her exit from the World order.

Similar Scenario
It is very much the same scenario with regards to Madhurika Patkar, like Divya Deshpande she has international experience; earlier this year she was named at no.249 on the Women’s World Rankings.

In the initial stage of the Women’s Singles event in Surat, she accounted for Sri Lanka’s Ishara Madurangi, listed at no.434 (11-7, 11-7, 11-7), Singapore’s Pearlyn Koh, named at no.613 (11-5, 11-9, 11-3) and Trinidad and Tobago’s Aleena Edwards (11-2, 11-3, 11-3).

Aleena Edwards has no current World ranking.

Kritiwika Roy
Likewise, Kritiwika Roy was not to be upstaged by her colleagues. She accounted for Ireland’s Ashley Given (11-6, 11-6, 4-11, 9-11, 12-10), South Africa’s Khanyisile Madlala (11-9, 11-3, 11-4) and Alexia Christodoulou (11-5, 11-5, 11-4).

Presently, Khanyisile Madlala is World ranked no.546; neither Ashley Given nor Alexia Christodoulou enjoy current global status but earlier this year in August, Ashley Given stood at no.569.

Impressive Performance
Impressive performances from three host nation players; it was the same from Louiza Kourea.

She beat Singapore’s Zhang Wanling (8-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-9), Megan Phillips of Wales (5-11, 10-12, 11-6, 12-10, 11-4) and Ireland’s Erin Thompson (11-2, 11-8, 11-4). At the moment Zhang Wanling is listed at no.620 on the Women’s World Rankings, Megan Phillips has no current rating but three months ago in September, she was named at no.555.

Top Spot as Predicted
Somewhat surprise first places, in the remaining groups, it was top spot as status predicted.

India’s Pooja Sahasrabudhe, alongside England’s Karina Le Fevre and Maria Tsaptsinos duly finished in first places in their respective groups as did Sri Lanka’s Erandi Warusawithana.

Women’s Doubles
Meanwhile, as matters progressed in the Women’s Doubles event, the leading pairs all advanced to the quarter-final stage.

It was a successful day for Singapore’s Lin Ye and Zhou Yihan, as it was for India’s Manika Batra and Ankita Das; likewise Mouma Das and Shamini Kumaresan, also from India, progressed with England’s Tin-Tin Ho and Maria Tsaptsinos not to be overshadowed.

Matters Continue
Play continues on Sunday 20th December and concludes on Monday 21st December.



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