(by Johnathan Humbles)
And the Tide Turned: A Reversal of Fortune for Team USA Women
Did it just happen? Could it be possible? After a two-loss opening day at the Liebherr 2018 World Teams Table Tennis Championship, Team USA have completely turned the tide on Day 2. Team USA picked up their first victory of the tournament in stunning fashion with an upset of the 17th seeded team from Egypt. It was a three-game sweep for each member of Team USA. A dominating effort across the board.
Hoping to build upon her one set victory yesterday, Wu Yue led the attack for Team USA taking on Dina Meshref of Egypt. After falling behind early, she gained momentum and extended the first game to deuce. It was a long and grueling game but Wu was finally able to pull away taking the first game with a score of 13-11. The last two games of their match were close, but Wu maintained her lead throughout, securing a first set victory for Team USA (11, 7, 8).
Following in Wu’s footsteps was Lily Zhang. Zhang had also had some limited success on Sunday and was looking to build from that success as she faced Egypt’s Farah Abdel-Aziz. Some of the best action was late in the first game with the score tied 10-10. The players traded points but Zhang finally put together two consecutive points at 16-16 to win that game by a score of 18-16. For the rest of the set, Zhang had no issues. She finished comfortably losing only 2 points and 4 points in the last two games. Zhang wins her first set of the tournament (16, 2, 4).
Closing out the match for Team USA was Amy Wang who faced Egypt’s Yousra Helmy. Wang suffered a straight set loss on Sunday, but she caught a spark on Day 2 and played excellent. Unlike her teammates who had deuce scores in their first games, Wang started off hot and never looked back. She quickly took the first game 11-5. The pace was then established and Wang continued finishing the next two games with similar scores. Wang over Helmy 3-0 ( 5, 5, 7).