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Anna Hursey Beats World No.1 In Stunning Victory In Portugal

Anna Hursey has achieved the biggest win of her fledgling career by beating the current world and European No.1 at the Cadet Girls event, part of the European Top 10 event in Portugal.

Hursey – seeded at No.9 for the tournament – hammered the champion Elena Zaharia of Romania 4-0 in Vila Real.

She went on to beat Arina Slautina of Russia, seeded No.8, by the same scoreline.

Those results came after the Commonwealth Games star had narrowly lost her two previous matches against rivals seeded at No.2 and No.3.

But 12-year-old Hursey turned on the style to whitewash 13-year-old top-ranked Zaharia 4-0 (11:13, 11:13, 7:11, 9:11).

Hursey hit the headlines earlier this year when the Cardiff schoolgirl became the youngest ever competitor to represent Wales in a senior sport, when she made the Commonwealth Games team that went to Australia’s Gold Coast.

After beating Zaharia, Hursey said: “I like Elena Zaharia’s style. I just think that I played very well today.

“The last time we played I lost but it was very close. So, today I just tried my best.

Defending champion Elena Zaharia.

“I don’t have much pressure to be on a certain position on this or any tournament, I just want to try my best and see where it will lead me.

“Hopefully, as I get older and stronger I’ll get better. Since I still have three years left on Cadets I hope to be in the top three or even top one in this category.”

Earlier, Hursey had lost her first round tie to third-seeded Kornelija Riliskyte of Lithuania, 4:3 (11:9, 8:11, 9:11, 13:15, 11:9, 11:7, 11:9).

She was then beaten again by Russian Elizabet Abraamian, the No.2 seed, 4:2 (10:12, 11:5, 11:9, 8:11, 11:1, 11:8).

Hursey’s coach Stephen Jenkins said: “We follow a match-by-match strategy, so that we can focus her on winning her game.

“Only after a game, we talk about the next opponent. It’s not only the ranking that matters, a lot of No.1 on Seniors weren’t on Cadets.

“Anna is doing very well and of course we hope that she will become No.1, but the performance is not the main thing, the commitment is very important and we’re very happy with hers.”


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