With the European U17 team event now but a distant memory the record entry of players took to the courts last night and today in search of individual gold. There were also plenty of fresh faces in the arena as smaller nations such as Faroe Islands and Moldova made their entrance after missing the team event last week.
The Faroe players had a nightmare of a trip to Lubin following the French air traffic control strikes and only made it to the arena just a few short hours before their scheduled match time but all acquitted themselves admirably.
While the Faroe players will be heading home the same cannot be said for the Moldovan contingent who lit up the hall today getting through their first round matches in both women’s singles and doubles.
The star of the Moldovan show was Vlada Vynga (main article picture), who is still U15. Vynga beat Croat Lucija Trgovac in the opening round of the women’s singles 21-10 21-19 before partnering with Anna Cernetchi in the women’s doubles to beat Portugal’s Adriana Goncalves and Catarina Martins 21-12 21-16.
A great day for the European minnows but tomorrow will be even a bigger day for Vynga as in the second round of the women’s singles she takes on Danish favourite and pivotal women’s singles team gold winner Michelle Skodstrup.
The Moldovans will also have their backs to the wall in the women’s doubles where they take on German duo Maria Kuse and Emma Moszczynski in the second round.
A day of few upsets
It was also a day of very few surprises across all five disciplines with the first full day’s play serving as a shakedown day for all the fancied players and pairs. The one mini upset did happen to come in the very opening match on court 2 with English youngster Harry Huang beating David Orteu (seeded 9/16) in two games.
While the statisticians would class the victory as an upset for Huang the reality is the polar opposite. Huang is of course the reigning European U15 champion, a title he lifted in Kazan just a few short weeks ago and a real talent for England going forward.
The closet we came to a real upset was when Johnnie Torjussen was taken to three games by Lucas Resch of Germany. The Englishman looked out of sorts in what was a very up and down game for him.
Elsewhere English 5/8 seeds in women’s doubles Fee Teng Liew and Lizzie Tolman suffered a defeat but like Huang, the victory by Schreiber and Wilson of Germany was no real shock in a match on form that could have gone either way. Schreiber (pictured above) is rapidly becoming one of the players of the tournament after being one of the very few shining lights in the team event for Germany and following that form up today winning both her singles and doubles.
To view all the results from today’s play in Lubin click HERE
To watch all the matches from court 2 on demand click HERE
For a photo gallery from today’s action click HERE