Zhang Mo impresses but USA crowned champions of North America
Courtesy of ITTF / by Neha Aggarwal
USA women clinched the title at the North American Team Championship defeating Canada in a nail-biting full distance encounter. The doubles proved to be the crucial one as both Zhang Mo and Lily Zhang won their singles games.
USA defeated Canada to be crowned the champions Women’s Team at the North American Team Championship held at ICC Table Tennis Center, Milpitas, California on 10th September 2016.
One sided singles
The match started off with Canada’s Zhang Mo beating USA’s Crystal Wang three games to nil. Mo kept Crystal uncomfortable with her powerful forehand smashes throughout the match. Crystal tired to keep pace with Mo’s backhand loops but faltered with the placements. Mo showed no mercy as she wrapped up the game 11-8, 11-5, 11-6 in fifteen minutes.
Next came Lily Zhang against 16-year old Liao Ivy. Zhang’s quick attacks proved to be too fast for Lio. Lio was willing to take risks against Zhang, but Zhang’s consistency on the table had answers to each one of them. The third set was stretched long but Zhang, the world number 92, finished off the match in straight sets winning 11-3, 11-3, 11-9.
The crucial doubles
With a 1-1 score tied up, the doubles was extremely crucial for both the teams to take the lead before reverse singles. It was the contest between Canada’s Xiong Isabelle/ Liao Ivy and USA’s Wang Chen/Wang Crystal. Although the Canadian pair pushed the Americans till their limits, Wang Chen’s experience on table proved to be valuable. The pair from USA won 8-11, 13-11, 11-6, 11-6 to give USA a 2-1 lead.
Mo levels back
The reverse singles between Zhang Mo and Wang Chen was good display of close to the table fast rallies. Wang kept Mo strained as she placed backhand counters on all corners of the table but Mo was too quick for the 42-year old. Mo beat Wang 11-3, 7-11, 11-8, 11-9 to level the match to 2-2.
Zhang too strong
The 5th and deciding game between Lily Zhang and Xiong Isabelle was a one sided contest as Zhang thrashed Isabelle three games to nil in fifteen minutes. With conceding only 11 points in the entire game, Zhang was clearly too strong for her 13-year old opponent. Zhang beat Isabelle 11-2, 11-3, 11-6 thus winning the match for USA.
With this victory, USA qualifies for the 2017 World Team Cup.
Watch the entire match here: