Diane and Rosalind, Now Read Joanna and Rachel, the New Generation
Courtesy of ITTF
May 11, 2014 – Four World Championships in succession; in Vienna in 1951 and London in 1954 they were the Women’s Doubles winners, in Bombay in 1952 and one year later in Bucharest they were the runners up.
Now, England’s twin sisters Diane and Rosalind Rowe, as they were known in those days by their maiden names, now Diane Schöler and Rosalind Cornet, have definite rivals.
Step forward ten year old twin sisters Rachel and Joanna Sung from the United States of America.
On the opening morning of play at the Butterfly 2015 Canadian Junior and Cadet Open in Markham, Toronto, they were the pair to attract the attention and raise the eyebrows.
They beat the Hungarian partnership of Kitty Keresztiesi and Janka Varga by three matches to two in their opening first phase contest in the Cadet Girls’ Team event. Rachel Sung was the backbone of the success and Joanna Sung the heroine.
Rachel Sung beat both Janka Varga (11-4, 11-8, 11-5) and Kitty Keresztiesi (11-9, 8-11, 11-4, 11-4), with Joanna Sung overcoming Janka Varga in the vital concluding match of the fixture (11-5, 11-3, 11-7) to secure a well-earned victory.
Close Doubles Contest
Furthermore, the result was very nearly more convincing; the Americans only lost the doubles, the third match of the fixture by the minimal two point margin in the deciding game (9-11, 11-8, 11-6, 8-11, 12-10).
The result meant that the Hungarians went two matches to one ahead; in the immediate preceding contest Kitty Keresztiesi had beaten 11-9, 9-11, 11-4, 11-7).
Left and Right Handed
Twins just like Diane and Rosalind; also there is another similarity. Rachel like Diane is left hand; Joanna like Diane is right handed!
Surely, that combination is ideal for doubles?
“I don’t really don’t like playing doubles”, said Rachel Sung in a very firm voice. “In doubles you have to rely on somebody else; not just on yourself it’s not just Joanna, it’s anybody.”
Watching Joanna Sung seal the fixture by beating Janka Varga, I would suggest Rachel Sung has a pretty good partner; she played without inhibition to clinch the victory.
Certainly, the way both young ladies played was impressive; both shake-hands grip players like the celebrated Rowe twins, both attacked at the earliest opportunity.
How many times have I seen girls, especially in my native England, use the racket like a shovel, push the ball back and wait for their opponents to make a mistake.
Not Joana and Rachel Sung; their attacking play from both wings was sheer delight; Diane and Rosalind would have been proud of them.
“I felt comfortable today”, said Rachel Sung who is the more reserved of the two sisters. “I was confident.”
Equally, Joanna Sung played in a manner which appeared very stress free; the exuberance of youth.
“I must admit that before the last match I was nervous”, she admitted. “However, after I won the first game I was more relaxed, I moved better and I became more confident with my top spin play.”
Zhou Xin Table Tennis Academy
It was a splendid performance by both Joanna and Rachel Sung who are members of the Zhou Xin Table Tennis Academy in Fremont which is in the Bay Area of California.
“We’ve been playing table tennis since we were six years old”, explained Joanna Sung. “We practice about two hours after school each day and maybe more if we have a tournament.”
Most certainly they are being well guided; it is for Rachel Sung her second ever ITTF Junior Circuit appearance, she was present in Canada one year ago, for Joanna her debut and a very impressive debut indeed.
In the 1950s Diane and Rosalind Rowe became household names; Joanna Sung and Rachel Sung may well be set to do the same.