(By Amy Karpinski, President of Cape Fear Table Tennis Club/Photo by Tony Murnahan)
The first day of the 2021 World Table Tennis Championships sported 128 players in both the men’s and women’s single events. While many of the matches ended as expected, there were still plenty of upsets.
The top eight players had byes including newly minted Butterfly sponsored and world number one Fan Zhendong along with Butterfly stalwarts, Timo Boll, Lin Gaoyuan, Lin Yun-Ju, and Tomokazu Harimoto. There were plenty of drama matches including upset matches where Canada’s Jeremy Hazin upset world no. 65 Marcelo Aguirre of Paraguay. USA’s Kanak Jha didn’t want to let the home country crowd down and thrilled them with a hard fought 4-3 win over Korea’s An Jaehyun. Nikihil Kumar lost a 4-3 heartbreaker to Thiago Monteiro of Brazil. The third USA player, Kai Jiang had no answer to Argentian Gaston Alto’s punishing offense.
Men’s play resumes on Wednesday, November 24 with the round of 64. The fans are looking forward to seeing the world’s top 8 compete for the first time.
For the first day’s results for the men’s singles, please click this link: https://eventresults.ittf.com/eventInfo?selectedTab=Draws&eventId=2346
120 women competed today in the round of 128. Like the men, the top eight players were seeded out and will begin play on Wednesday, November 24 in the round of 64. The biggest upset of the tournament so far was world no. 131 Amy Wang from the USA defeating Germany’s Nina Mittelham ranked 31 in a decisive 4-0 victory. Canadian Mo Zhang was victorious in a hard fought 4-3 battle with Portugal’s Jieni Shao. USA’s Yue Wu and Lily Zhang cruised through to the round of 64 with 4-1 and 4-0 wins respectively over their opponents.
Women’s play resumes on Thursday, November 25 with the round of 64. The full results of the women’s events can be found here: https://eventresults.ittf.com/eventInfo?subEvt=WSINGLES&selectedTab=Draws&eventId=2346
For the first time in table tennis history and to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Ping Pong diplomacy, USA and China paired together two teams for this world championship. Both pairings were victorious. USA’s Kanak Jha and China’s Wang Manyu defeated Russian pair Mariia Tailakova and Vladimir Siddrenko convincingly 3-0. The second pairing combined the talents of USA’s Lily Zhang and China’s Lin Gaoyuan and included a decisive 3-0 victory over Portugal’s Tiago Apolonia and Jieni Shao.
USA’s Nikhil Kumar and Amy Wang struggled against the relentless Korean pair of Cho Daeseong and Shin Yubin.
Mixed doubles play resumes on Wednesday, November 24. The results from today’s mixed doubles play can be found here: https://eventresults.ittf.com/eventInfo?subEvt=XDOUBLES&selectedTab=Draws&eventId=2346
More photos here
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