Mohamed Shouman determined but eventually suffered heartbreak
Photo By: Quique Aparicio
2011 ITTF Global Cadet Challenge & Global Junior Circuit Finals (Click here to access this section)
Chinese Taipei’s Hung Tzu-Hsiang, in opposition to Egypt’s Mohamed Shouman, brought proceedings to a close on Saturday 21st January 2012 in the Boys’ Singles event at the ITTF Junior Circuit Finals, in the most dramatic of fashions.
A spellbound crowd in the Puerto Rican Convention Center watched in awe, as the young man from Chinese Taipei, who will celebrate his 18th birthday in six days’ time, saved four match points before succeeding at the first attempt to secure victory.
Not only was the crowd spellbound, they were full of admiration for the superb Hung Tzu-Hsiang.
Calm Under Pressure
He remained calm under pressure, never panicked and produced a result which will live long in Puerto Rican table tennis folklore.
Hung Tzu-Hsiang won 4-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-4, 11-13, 7-11, 14-12.
Cruising to Victory
It seemed in the fifth game that Hung Tzu-Hsiang was cruising to victory, he established a lead but to his great credit, Mohamed Shouman recovered.
The Egyptian is a fighter, he revels in the battle, he is powerful, he gives heart and soul to the cause.
Injection of Adrenalin
Winning the fifth game gave Mohamed Shouman a massive injection of adrenalin.
He dominated the sixth game and in the seventh he appeared to have turned imminent defeat some four of five minutes earlier, into impending victory.
At the change of ends he led 5-4; he was full of energy, every success being greeted by a deep throated cry of indigestion.
However, he was unable to establish a clear lead, at 8-7 he trailed by one point; then he found an extra gear, with the heart of a lion he won the next four points.
Match Points Saved
The first match point was saved, then the rally of the day, counter topspin after counter topspin; eventually won by Hung Tzu-Hsiang, the crowd gasped and applauded in adulation.
No risks, Hung Tzu-Hsiang maintained the pressure, the level of consistency a mental stability was to be admired; a lesser man would have panicked and taken a risk.
Serving for the Match
Matters level, Mohamed Shouman won the next point and was serving for the match.
An outrageous flicked return from the penholder’s backhand levelled matters; then it was advantage to Mohamed Shouman, another rally, another match point saved.
Throughout Hung Tzu-Hsiang had controlled his emotions, Mohamed Shouman had let his feelings run wild; then it was match point to the young man from Chinese Taipei, a chance, the chance was seized.
Egyptian hopes were dashed. Tears rolled down the face of the Sphinx.
A tremendous semi-final which saw players of different styles in opposition had been witnessed.
The speed of the Wang Hao like Hung Tzu-Hsiang was a pleasure to behold. He is a penholder in the modern day ilk who top spins from both sides of the racket but unusually serves time and again from the backhand, as opposed to the more traditional technique of using the forehand.
Conversely, Mohamed Shouman, a shakehands grip player, oozed power; whilst in the counterpart semi-final the deft touches and controlled topspin play of India’s Soumyajit Ghosh could not overcome the solid defensive play of Korea’s Choi Deok Hwa.
The Korean, prepared to attack from the forehand in true Joo Se Hyuk manner, prevailed in six games (6-11, 11-2, 3-11, 11-3, 11-6, 11-7); Soumyajit Ghosh had the skill but not the power to beat the defensive art displayed by Choi Deok Hwa.
Meanwhile, by comparison the Girls’ Singles semi-finals saw comprehensive wins for Chinese Taipei’s Chen Szu-Yu and Singapore’s Isabelle Li; the two players who one day earlier had confronted each other in the same group in the first phase of proceedings.
First and Last
In her very first match of the tournament, Isabelle Li faced Chen Szu-Yu; she will also face in her very last match and will be seeking revenge for the straight games defeat.
Both young ladies impressed in their penultimate round Girls’ Singles duel; Chen Szu-Yu proved too consistent for Portugal’s Maria Xiao, recording a five games win (11-5, 5-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-7); whilst Ariel Hsing found life torturous against Isabelle Li, losing in four straight games.
Isabelle Li won 11-5, 11-7, 11-1, 12-10.
Visit itTV for Interview with Francisco Seijas
For interview with Francisco Seijas, the Executive Director of the Latin American Table Tennis Union who reflects on the Boys’ Singles semi-finals, click on itTV and go to the channel Juniors, interviews on left hand side menu under 2011 ITTF Global Cadet Challenge and Global Junior Circuit - Interviews