2018 US Nationals Update
(By Steve Hopkins)
The 2018 US Nationals has brought 700 players to Las Vegas to compete in almost 100 events. The action began on Monday, July 2 and will conclude on Saturday, July 7. Through July 5, many of the age and rating events have concluded, but the finals of the featured singles events will occur Friday night.
The highest ranked American, Kanak Jha took care of business in the Junior Boys’ Singles event, defeating Sharon Alguetti 4-0. The Junior Girls’ title went to Amy Wang in a hard-fought 4-2 win over Rachel Sung. Daniel Tran and Emily Tan won the Hopes titles (Daniel won Hopes Boys’ Singles with a 3-1 win over Jensen Feng, and Emily won the Hopes Girls’ Singles with a 3-0 win over Faith Hu.
Other Results of Note:
The father/son duo of Pete and Derek May are back at the Nationals after a long lay-off. Derek defeated Oak Niraj 3-2 to win the Over 50s title, and Pete won the Over 75 event with a 3-0 win over Jack Jacob.
Dan Seemiller has added four more National titles to his impressive list: pairing in Doubles with Patty Martinez Wasserman in Over 50 Mixed and Over 60 Mixed, pairing with David Sakai in Over 50 Men’s, and pairing with Ronald Weber in Hardbat Doubles. Patty Martinez added four of her own: two with Seemiller plus Women’s Over 65 Singles, and Over 40 Mixed Doubles with James Therriault. David Sakai added three titles as well: Pairing with Seemiller in Men’s 50, pairing with Raymond Mack in Men’s 65, and pairing with Dell Sweeris in Men’s 70.
In the Women’s Singles event, the top three seeds have all lost. Yue Wu lost in the semifinal against Angela Guan (4-2) and Lily Zhang and Crystal Wang (seeds 1 and 3 respectively) both lost to Liu Juan. While the wins by Liu Juan are over higher seeds, the result is not entirely unexpected. Seedings in this tournament are based upon a variety of factors including World Ranking, so while Liu Juan did not have a high seed in the tournament, she is the highest rated player in the event. The final is scheduled for Friday at 7:30p
In the Men’s Singles event, Kanak Jha was seeded first and he has advanced through his half of the draw to the final. He overcame Seth Pech (4-0), Victor Liu (4-1, Nikhil Kumar (4-1) and Sharon Alguetti (4-0) along the way. The other half of the draw did not advance as the two highest seeds lost: Nicholas Tio fell to Yanjun Gao in a 4-3 thriller and Kunal Chodri lost to Yijun Feng. Feng then defeated Gao in the semifinal to advance. The final is scheduled for Friday at 8:15p.