Top Nations Dominate Opening Day At World Junior Team Championship
24 Jul 2023
The higher-seeded teams made a comfortable start to the 2023 WSF Women's World Junior Team Championship, with the crowd in Melbourne witnessing a slew of dominant results on day one of the pools stage.
The action on all three courts at Melbourne Sports Centres was largely one-sided as teams played in a 2-3-1 string order. The day began ominously for the lower-seeded teams, with whitewashes on all three courts in the afternoon session.
On Court Nine, Malaysia's first string Aira Azman bounced back from her defeat in the final of the individual event by sealing maximum points for her side against New Zealand with a 3/0 win over Ella Lash, following wins by the same scoreline for Sehveetrraa Kumar and Thanusaa Uthrian.
On the glass court, Hong Kong, China impressed as Sze Wing Wai, Ka Huen Leung and Toby Tse breezed past Singapore. The losing team boasted the only two players in Melbourne who represented their country in the previous championship four years ago - Singaporeans Gracia Chua Rui En and Paige Hill.
In the evening session, defending champions and top seeds Egypt - who opted to rest their No.1 Amina Orfi following her victory in the final of the individual event 24 hours earlier - were rampant against No.10 seeds Scotland.
The North African nation has won the last seven women's team events in a run going all the way back to 2007, and on today's evidence the top seeds look well set for another title challenge.
Zeina Zein and Nour Megahed - who celebrated her 18th birthday today - delivered the victory for Egypt with 3/0 wins over Anna Halliday and Louisa Kaven, before Fayrouz Aboelkheir made sure of maximum points after overcoming stubborn resistance from 16-year-old Robyn McAlpine.
Despite the defeat, Scotland - who are playing in the championship for the first time since 2005 - will take positives from the experience into their next fixture, which comes against No.7 seeds Canada on Wednesday.
Elsewhere, on Court Six, No.5 seeds England crushed No.14 seeds Chinese Taipei, while on Court Nine No.3 seeds USA secured a comfortable victory over No.11 seeds South Africa.