King reaches quarters in Orebro

Russell Moore

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Eighteen-year-old A Level student Yolanda King, a member of the Weald TTC, Cranbrook, put up about her best-ever international performance while representing the Grantham College Academy at the Safir International Championships in Orebro, Sweden.

King was the only European to reach the quarter-finals of the Women’s Elite Singles, the other seven players being four Japanese, two Swedish-based Chinese, and one Canadian-based Chinese.

King came top of her elite singles group with comfortable wins over Alice Tolstoy (Sweden), Salome Simonet (Switzerland) and Ruwida Essam Ismail (Egypt). Then in the first round knockout she had a tight 3-2 (11-2, 8-11, 11-4, 10-12, 12-10) victory over another Swiss, Amanda Fauvel, before putting out seeded players Carelyn Cordero (Puerto Rica) 3-0 (11-9, 11-7, 11-8) in the second round and Mayu Seshita (Japan) 3-0 (11-6, 11-7, 11-9) in the third round.

Unfortunately in the quarter-finals she was no match for third seed, Japanese University student Mitsuki Tada, going down 3-0 (11-3, 11-4, 11-7).

King with Jan-Ove Waldner

King kept up her form in the under 21 International Women’s singles, putting out Jasminka Oeij (Holland) 3-1 (11-9, 11-8, 7-11, 11-7) in the first round and, for a second time but closer this time, the seeded Carelyn Cordero (Puerto Rica) 3-2 (8-11, 14-12, 11-9, 4-11, 11-7) in the second round.

Although Yolanda then lost on more to the high seeded Mitsuki Tada (Japan), the match was much more even on this occasion, King being within one point of taking it to a deciding game before losing 3-1 (11-9, 6-11, 11-4, 14-12).

King did relatively poorly in what on paper was the weaker event, the Women’s Singles Band 1. After easily defeating Julia Magnussan (Sweden) 3-0 (11-2, 11-3, 11-7), she had match point in the third game of her clash with former Swedish junior international Stina Zetterstrom, only for Zetterstrom to save it with a ‘net’ ball, a tired and frustrated Yolanda then going on to lose 3-2 (14-12, 11-9, 11-13, 5-11, 1-11).

It was a case of what might have been, because Zetterstrom then lost in straight games to the seeded Mayu Seshita (Japan) who Yolanda had knocked out in the elite singles.

However, this overall good form and results will give King confidence for the English Senior National Championships at Ponds Forge International Sports, Sheffield this long weekend, in which she is no.2 seed in the under 21 women’s singles.

Her Weald Club colleague, Benenden’s Lewis Gray returns from training in Germany to be no.5 seed in the men’s under 21 singles.

By Ken Muhr

King with Jorgen Persson

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