A young English ladies team faced a baptism of fire in the Qualifying Groups of the English Open on Wednesday morning with many of the squad facing opponents in or close to the World’s top 100. The players will certainly be able to compare experiences having faced the World no’s 86 Mie Skov, World no. 87 Irene Ivancan, the 88th ranked Han Eun Yang and one of the best known of the players in the Qualifying rounds – World no. 89 Sara Ramirez.
England no. four Karina Lefevre (World ranked no. 594) did well to take a game off World no. 89 Sara Ramirez (Spain) before missing out in the fifth end 4-11, 4-11, 4-11, 11-8, 7-11.
It was a similar story for England no. 10 Emily Bates (World ranked no. 559) who missed out 4-1 against Irene Ivancan (the 87th World-ranked German), who won 11-6, 9-11, 11-2, 11-1 11-4.
England no. five Hannah Hicks (World ranked no. 566) had to play World no. 88 Han Eun Yang (Korea)and despite chiselling away bravely and achieving some truly magnificent returns she found herself outgunned. Her Korean opponent gave little away, winning 11-1, 11-4, 11-7, 11-4.
Guernsey’s top player Alice Loveridge(World ranked no. 540) did not fare any better. Her opponent, the formidable Mie Skov (Denmark – the World no. 86) triumphed 11-9.11-6, 11-8, 11-7.
Lauren Spink, World ranked no. 764 and the current England ranked no. eight, and so successful on the ETTA Grand Prix circuit met her match in the World no. 131 -Elena Troshneva (Russia) and she missed out 7-11, 8-11, 8-11, 10-12 after four well contested games.
There was no luck for England no. one Under 13 Tin-Tin Ho (World ranked no. 803) and almost certainly one of the youngest players in this year’s Tournament. She gave a fine account of herself against World no. 135 Kwok See Yu, before losing 6-11, 3-11, 8-11, 5-11.Megan Phillips (Wales) is also taking part in this group, and she bel ied her World current ranking of 1078 by taking the first game off the World no. 200 Katerina Penkakova (Czech Republic) before losing 11-5, 1-11, 8-11, 8-11, 4-11.
England no. eight Junior Chloe Whyte (World ranked no. 743) did very well to take a game off the Japanese World no. 101 Misaki Morizono. She also came close to pinching the fifth game as well, before missing out 2-11, 14-12, 5-11, 3-11, 9-11.
World no. 212 Liu Na (Ireland)had to face one of the most formidable players in the Groups – Fan Ying (China) a Chinese defensive player rather uniquely without a current World ranking. As you can probably imagine a current World ranking was the only ingredient missing from this young lady’s play as she cruised home 11-4, 11-8, 11-4, 11-5.
Tressa Armitage, the England no. three Junior did well to take a game off Linda Creemers (World ranked no. 123 from Netherlands). She acquitted herself very well before missing out 11-7, 4-11, 7-11, 3-11, 4-11.
The experienced Emma Vickers (World ranked no. 685 / England no. six) was another first game loser. She was defeated by World no. 110 Matilda Ekholm (Sweden) 12-10, 11-5, 11-7, 11-9.
By Steve Kerns