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Guan Defends Her Way To Top Position on Final Day

Guan Defends Her Way To Top Position on Final Day

Guan Defends Her Way To Top Position on Final Day

(By Matt Hetherington)
Guan Defends Her Way To Top Position on Final Day
The last day of the 2017 US National Team Trials at Triangle Table Tennis Center in North Carolina had all the thrills and spills of a final showdown including an incredible level of table tennis alongside frustrations and dramas. The round of 16 would contain a single match which would see young talent Tiffany Ke’s tournament come to an end and Rachel Yang advance to the quarterfinals. She would face the draw’s top seed, yesterday’s losing finalist Angela Guan who had really found her stride across Day 2’s matchplay.

The two choppers went head to head and before long the expedite rule was imposed as Angela lead 2-0. The frequency of attacking stepped up and Angela, with more experience of this rule type, accelerated on to close out the game 4-0 and move into the semifinals, a step closer to her goal. The second quarterfinal would see an incredible controversy as Wang Chen returned after withdrawing for an injury on Day 2. Wang Chen who has had some history of being fault served in important matches wasn’t able to handle her frustrations at again facing umpire calls against her service game. The end result of her match with Grace Yang was her defaulting the match after the conclusion of game two. Very unfortunate to see a situation such as this end the way it did for a player of such high calibre. In the credit of Grace Yang she held her nerve during the situation and maintained her focus on the match throughout.

With Wang Chen out of the draw the potential for anyone to take the top spot became much more thrilling as everyone began to see opportunity. Rachel Sung would overcome Amanda Malek to reach the last 4 while Crystal Wang made an impressive and decisive 4-0 win over Amy Wang.

Into the semifinals and Crystal Wang would step her rallying game up to seal a 6 game win over Rachel Sung. Both players showed intensity in some incredibly high speed exchanges, though the experience of Crystal Wang gave her the edge in the end. The interesting showdown would be on table 1 between the defensive long pips chop of Angela Guan and the forehand short pips attack of Grace Yang.

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