Surprise Winner in Markham, Once Again Victor Liu Upsets Seeding
2015 ITTF North American Championships
Courtesy of ITTF
Gold medalist against expectations just under four months ago in Markham at the Butterfly 2015 Canadian Junior and Cadet Open; once again on Saturday September 5th, Victor Liu from the United States was the player to raise the eyebrows.
The no.3 seed in the Cadet Boys’ Singles event at the 2015 ITTF-North American Championships in Westchester, New York, having suffered defeat in the group stage at the hands of Michael Tran, also from the United States (11-5, 11-9, 5-11, 11-8) and finished in second place in his group; in the main draw the 13 year old went from strength to strength.
At the quarterfinal stage he ousted Canada’s Jeremy Hazin, the no.4 seed (11-8, 7-11, 11-7, 11-7), before upsetting the pecking order by beating compatriot, Kanak Jha, the top seed. He emerged successful in closely contested full distance five games duel determined by the minimal two point margin (11-8, 11-7, 9-11, 7-11, 11-9).
“I kind of relaxed a bit when I was leading two-nil, which gave Kanak the chance to come back to two-two but overall I think I did well”, said Victor Liu. “In the fifth game, I was down 4-9; then I tried to change my tactics to serve top spin and eventually finished 11-9 to take the match.”
Success and in the final a familiar adversary awaits.
“Tomorrow I will play against my good friend Jack in the final”, added a very positive Victor Liu. “I think I can do it to win the title!”
The friend in question is Jack Wang, also from the United States and the no.2 seed; he accounted for compatriot Sharon Alguetti, the no.5 seed in the round of the last eight (11-7, 8-11, 11-9, 11-6), before overcoming twin brother Gal Alguetti, the no.6 seed (11-3, 11-8, 11-6) to reserve his place in the final.
“I think I did pretty well, the last few times I played against Gal, I have a pretty good record, so I was relaxed before the semi-final match”, said Jack Wang. “During the match, he couldn’t return many of my serves, so it made it easier for me.”
Top Three Top Groups
Meanwhile, in the Cadet Girls’ Singles event, the leading names all secured main draw places in style.
Three groups, with three players in each in the initial stage of proceedings, the United States trio of Crystal Wang, Amy Wang and Grace Yang all secured first places in their respective groups and thus direct entries to the quarterfinals.
Following a progressive knockout system, all nine players advanced to the main draw, thus necessitating one first round match.
The engagement in question proved to be one of the most closely contested matches of the day, Canada’s Laura Lai beat Aarushi Bajpai by the very narrowest of margins (12-10, 11-6, 10-12, 5-11, 13-11).
Stiff and Cold
“It was a really close match, in the first two games, I was stiff and cold and lost both games but I managed to come back to tie up at two-two”, explained Aarushi Bajpal. “In the last game, I told myself that I must win the last point but I couldn’t do it and lost 11-13 eventually; I tried to surprise her with my backhand long serves but it didn’t work.”
Defeat for Aarushi Bajpal who now plays for positions no.9 to no.16.
The Cadet Boys’ Singles and Cadet Girls’ Singles events will be played to a conclusion on Sunday September 6th.
Quotes of the Day
2015 ITTF-North American Championships: Quotes of the Day – Saturday September 6th