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Other Sports - 15. September 2012.

GAC GROUP 2012 ITTF World Tour, Koltsovo Russia Open

The player to cause surprise after surprise in the past two years, as she progressed to secure a top 50 place in the Women’s World Rankings and established herself as a pivotal player in the German National Team, Irene Ivancan received a taste of her own medicine in Ekaterinburg on Friday 14th September.

She was the biggest casualty in the opening round of the Women’s Singles event at the GAC GROUP 2012 ITTF World Tour Koltsovo Russian Open

Seeded no.6, she was beaten by Japan’s Nozomi Hasami, a qualifier, in five games (11-8, 4-11, 14-12, 11-6, 11-3).

No World Ranking
Furthermore, Nozomi Hasami has no previous international experience of note and whose name does not appear on the current Women’s World Rankings

A first round exit for the sixth seed on what proved a disastrous round for Germany.

More Defeats
Both Zhenqi Barthel, the no.9 seed and Sabine Winter, the no.16 seed, departed leaving Kristin Silbereisen, the no.7 seed, the only member of the German’s women’s contingent left.

She beat Russia’s Margarita Fetukhina (11-7, 11-3, 11-7, 12-10) but that was the only crumb of comfort for Germany with Zhenqi Barthel, the no.9 seed, losing to Russia’s Elena Troshneva (11-6, 6-11, 9-11, 11-8, 10-12, 11-7, 11-8) and Sabine Winter, the no.16 seed, suffering against China’s Rao Jingwen (11-7, 12-10, 11-2, 11-4).

Silver Medallist Five Years Earlier
However, the defeat experienced by Sabine Winter needs putting into perspective.

In 2007 Rao Jingwen was the runner up in the Women’s Singles event at the Eurosib Russian Open and by June 2008 was named at no.51 on the Women’s World Rankings.

An absence from the international scene in recent times has seen her lose her World ranking.

Problems for Russia
Problems for Germany and there were also problems for the host nation.

Oxana Fadeeva, the no.11 seed and Polina Mikhailova, the no.15 seed both suffered first round exits at the hands of Japanese qualifiers; Oxana Fadeeva was beaten by Megumi Abe (11-8, 9-11, 11-7, 11-8, 8-11, 11-9) whilst Polina Mikhailova was defeated by Sechie Shigemoto (12-10, 11-8, 5-11, 11-13, 11-5, 11-4).

Mixed Blessings
Surprise wins for two Japanese players and there were two more, one in favour, one against.

Minami Doi beat Alexandra Privalova of Belarus, the no.13 seed (11-9, 11-9, 11-6, 11-8 but on the other side of the coin, Yuki Nonaka, the no.10 seed was beaten by Russian qualifier Olga Baranova (11-9, 6-11, 11-9, 11-9, 4-11, 1-11, 11-6).

Seven Seeds Fall, Top Names Progress
A total of seven seeds fell in the first round against players who had negotiated two days of qualification matches.

However, for the leading names it was progress.

China’s Feng Yalan, the no.1 seed, beat Russia’s Antonina Savelieva (11-9, 11-3, 11-2, 11-8) and Viktoria Pavlovich of Belarus, the no.2 seed, defeated Valentina Sabitova, also from Russia (11-6, 11-5, 11-7, 11-3).

China Makes Presence Felt
Meanwhile, following in the footsteps of colleague Feng Yalan, Chen Meng, Zhu Yuling, Wen Jia and Chang Chenchen all reserved second round places in style.

Chen Meng, the no.3 seed, overcame Russia’s Anna Blazhko (11-5, 11-4, 6-11, 11-6, 11-4), Zhu Yuling, the no.4 seed, defeated Japan’s Miwako Ishizuka (11-5, 11-6, 11-5, 11-4); whilst Wen Jia, the no.5 seed, ousted the host nation’s Alexandra Semenova (11-6, 15-13, 11-5, 11-4) and Chang Chenchen, the no.8 seed, ended the aspirations of Japan’s Azusa Ichikawa (11-8, 11-7, 11-4, 11-3).
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