A successful first day for Chen Hongtao
Photo By: Thomas Nguyen
2012 USA Junior & Cadet Open - ITTF Junior Circuit (Click here to access this section)
Three groups to start proceedings in the Junior Boys’ Team event at the United States Junior and Cadet Open in Grand Rapids on Saturday 30th June 2012 and it was success for the three seeded outfits.
Represented by Hung Tzu-Hsiang and Lai Yi-Yao, Chinese Taipei secured three matches to nil wins on all three visits to the table, as did the second seeded outfit of Canada’s Chen Hongtao and James Pintea.
Similarly for Chinese Taipei ‘B’, the third seeds, life was only marginally more difficult, with the United States outfit formed by Nathan Hsu and Ethan Jin, posing questions for the two visitors to American shores, Hsiu Chia-Liang and Huang Lien-Ching.
Ethan Jin in Form
The player to impress was Ethan Jin; in the second match of the fixture he accounted Huang Lien-Ching in a full distance five games encounter (7-11, 11-7, 11-8, 4-11, 11-8).
However, that was the only success for the host nation.
Hs Chia-Liang in Form
Hsu Chia-Liang accounted for both Nathan Hsu (11-9, 11-9, 6-11, 11-7) and Ethan Jin (11-6, 11-4, 11-2); whilst partnering Huang Lien Chung to doubles success over the two young Americans (11-3, 11-4, 11-9).
Pleased with Efforts
Nevertheless, it was very much the favourites who prevailed and in particular James Pintea was pleased with his efforts.
“I felt my rally play was quite decent today and I had a good feeling”, said the Canadian teenager after having beaten the host nation’s Theodore Tran in his opening match of the day in a close five games duel (9-11, 11-5, 4-11, 11-4, 11-5) to set his team en route to victory over the United States ‘B’ Team.
“At first I was not confident about my forehand because I was missing quite often but after the first couple of games I gained a rhythm”, continued James Pintea. “Theodore was decent in the rallies and I also felt he put quite a lot of spin on the first ball which threw me off little bit; it was the first match of the tournament so I just felt that I should play with no pressure at all.”
Top Seeds Top Group
Success for the leading teams in the Junior Boys’ Team event and it was the same scenario in the Cadet Boys’ Team competition.
Top seeds, Chinese Taipei ‘A’ represented by Chih De-Yang and Yu Cheng-Feng, finished in first place in their group as did the second seeds, Gong Tong Tong and Kanak Jha representing the United States ‘A’ Team.
Kanak Jha in outstanding form on the first day of play at the United States Junior and Cadet Open
Photo by Thomas Nguyen
Kanak Jha Impressive
The noticeable performance being that of Kanak Jha; who celebrated his 12th birthday just eleven days prior to the tournament commencing.
He remained unbeaten throughout the day in singles matches.
Both Chinese Taipei ‘A’ and the United States ‘A’ thus qualified for the main draw where the face the second placed teams from the adjacent group in the semi-finals.
Chih De-Yang and Yu Cheng-Feng of Chinese Taipei ‘A’ face Aarah Shah and Brian Gao of United States ‘C’; Gong Tong Tong and Kanak Jha confront the Canadian ‘A’ Team formed by Jeremy Hazin and Guo Moxi.
Gong Tong Tong through to the Cadet Boys’ Team semi-finals with Kanak Jha
Photo by Thomas Nguyen