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The third attempt, success for Suhana Saini

Saturday 11 September

Success at the third attempt and most significantly gold for India’s Suhana Saini; on Friday 10th September, she won the under 15 girls’ singles title at the 2021 WTT Youth Contender Otočec tournament presented by I Feel Slovenia.

After accounting for Germany’s Sarah Peter (11-4, 12-10, 11-3), Slovenia’s Enya Moltara (11-6, 11-8, 11-3) and Romania’s Alesia Sofia Sferlea (11-4, 11-8, 12-10) to reach the penultimate round, she maintained her good form.

She overcame Germany’s Mia Griesel (15-13, 11-9, 11-2) before recovering from a two games to nil deficit to beat Bianca Mei Rosu, like Alesia Sofia Sferlea from Romania (8-11, 4-11, 12-10, 11-8, 11-9) to arrest the title.

Notably, for Suhana Saini, it was success at the third attempt.


The podium in Otocec, silver for Bianca Mei Rosu, gold for Suhana Saini

Four days earlier in nearby Varazdin, they had meet in the final of the same event; on that occasion the contest had been very much the opposite scenario. Bianca Mei Rosu had lost the opening two games, then secured the next three to claim the title (13-15, 6-11, 11-4, 11-8, 11-3).

Later, on Wednesday 8th September in Otocec they met again; this time at the quarter-final stage of the under 17 girls’ singles. Once again Bianca Mei Rosu prevailed in five games, she succeeded by the very narrowest of margins (11-13, 11-4, 9-11, 11-4, 15-13).

Perhaps next time they meet, forget the first two games, just start at 5-5 in the fifth?

Gold for Suhana Saini, the success followed gold for Dhaani Jain. On Sunday 5th September in Varazdin, she had won the under 11 girls’ singles, in Otocec she repeated the feat.

Once again in a group administered event, she finished ahead of Uzbekistan’s Arujan Kamalova, followed by the Slovenia trio comprising Neza Horvat, Laura Rahotin Pavic and Sara Erhatic.

Podium places, it was the same for their Indian colleague Diya Parag Chitale; bronze medal was het lot in the under 19 girls’ singles.

After overcoming Croatia’s Dora Cosic (11-9, 11-4, 11-9) and Romania’s Luciana Mitrofan (11-9, 6-11, 11-9, 11-5), she experienced defeat at the hands of Russia’s Alina Zavarykina (12-10, 11-6, 11-5).

At the final hurdle Alina Zavarykina was beaten by Romania’s Elena Zaharia (12-10, 11-6, 11-5).

Editor: Ian Marshall

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