Teenagers Steal the Limelight in Shanghai

Teenagers, Chinese Taipei’s 16 year old LEE Chia-Sheng, a player who one week earlier in Korea, failed to progress beyond the qualification stage of the Men’s Singles event, was the sensation of the third day’s play, Friday 25th May, at the GAC GROUP 2011 ITTF World Tour China Open in Shanghai.

He accounted for Singapore’s YANG Zi, the no.24 seed in the opening round (11-9, 8-11, 11-9, 11-6, 15-13), before recording a second round victory against Austria’s vastly experienced 40 year old CHEN Weixing, the no.16 seed (8-11, 7-11, 11-6, 7-11, 11-5, 11-9, 11-1).

LEE Chia-Sheng is one of three teenagers to book a third round Men’s Singles place; the others are Germany’s Patrick FRANZISKA and Japan’s Koki NIWA.

Seeded no.13, Koki NIWA, 17 years old, progressed as his seeding predicted; he beat England’s Andrew BAGGALEY (11-6, 11-8, 11-9, 11-6) and Japanese national team colleague, 15 year old Yuto MURAMATSU (11-9, 7-11, 11-7, 11-5, 7-11, 11-6).

However, the third round reservation made by 19 year old Patrick FRANZISKA was not to be anticipated; a qualifier, he accounted for Korea’s RYU Seungmin, the 2004 Athens Olympic gold medallist and no.10 seed (11-4, 1012, 11-7, 11-13, 13-11, 11-8), before in the second round, overcoming Hong Kong’s LEUNG Chu Yan, the no.20 seed (11-7, 11-8, 11-13, 9-11, 5-11, 11-9, 11-9).

Similarly, in the Women’s Singles event two teenagers were in form, Hong Kong’s NG Wing Nam and Germany’s Sabine WINTER, both 19 years old, both caused the biggest upsets of the day but, alas, their success was short-lived.

NG Wing Nam beat Japan’s Sayaka HIRANO, the no.10 seed (11-7, 2-11, 12-10, 11-13, 11-7, 14-12) before losing to the 2010 European champion and no.19 seed, Viktoria PAVLOVICH of Belarus (11-9, 6-11, 11-9, 11-4, 14-12); whilst Sabine WINTER ousted Singapore’s LI Jiawei, the no.11 seed, before losing to China’s CHEN Meng, the no.18 seed and reigning World junior champion.

Shocks caused by teenagers but for the very elite there were no heartaches in reaching the third round.

In the Men’s Singles event the respective top four seeds, all from China: MA Long, ZHANG Jike, WANG Hao and XU Xin all progressed with ease as did their colleagues in the Women’s Singles event.

DING Ning, LIU Shiwen and LI Xiaoxia all booked third round Women’s Singles places as did Japan’s Kasumi ISHIKAWA, the no.4 seed.


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