(by Steve Hopkins)
USA Table Tennis conducted its fourth Challenge Series event on Thursday. This week, “America’s First Virtual Table Tennis Challenge” matched Jennifer Wu (2473) for Team Nittaku against Tahl Leibovitz (2457) for Team Butterfly. Table tennis is one of the few sports where men and women compete against each other in major tournaments using the same rating system – and this is the third week in a row where this Series matched a women’s team member against a men’s team member. In the previous two weeks, it was the male player (Sharon Alguetti and Adar Alguetti) who pulled away late. This week, it was girl power from start to finish, with Jennifer winning 4-1. This is the first win for Team Nittaku, making the overall series score 3-1 (in favor of Team Butterfly).
Jennifer won the first game 11-5. It was tight early, but she pulled away for a pretty easy win. Jennifer started the second game fast and built a big 7-3 lead but Tahl fought back to within striking distance before losing 11-9. Tahl’s win was game three – where he pulled ahead early and then gained an advantage after 8-8 and 9-9 ties. Tahl wins the third game 11-9. Game 4 was tight early, but Jennifer pulled away for an 11-6 win to take the 3-1 lead.
The 24 minute clock ran out during the break between games 4 and 5. That means that the final games would be played to five points only. This is the T2 format that provides expedited rules to the sport ensuring that match times are limited to about 30 minutes maximum.
Tahl reached 4 first, but Jennifer won the final two points to secure the game 5-4. Wu over Leibovitz 4-1.
*The video below begins with highlights from past weeks before moving forward with the full match.
Tahl Leibovitz vs Yue Wu
Posted by USA Table Tennis on Thursday, August 20, 2020
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