by Simon Daish
Return to Glory
Olomouc saw Yang Xiaoxin participate in her first World Tour event of 2016, and what better way to mark her return than to win the top prize on offer?
Maki Shiomi had never reached the final of a World Tour, but she was a fixture in the semi-finals of the 2016 Bulgaria Open as recently as last weekend and the fact that the two competitors had never previously met added a sense of unpredictability in the build up to the match.
The final didn’t provide too much in the way of suspense, as Yang (28) required only the four ends to overcome Shiomi, but the 16-year-old did manage to show great promise at times.
Yang was the slightly better player in the opening two games against Shiomi, but the third game was much tighter and presented the Japanese player with the chance of a comeback.
Both finalists knew how important it would be to take the game in terms of match momentum, and Yang used all of her experience and defensive finesse to win the end in deuce before sealing the deal in game four (11-9, 11-5, 12-10, 11-6).
“I feel very happy because on Monday I came back from China where I was on holiday with my family and I still feel tired. I don’t believe that I will be able to win this tournament. Of course it was very hard (playing three Japanese competitors in the draw) and the matches were the most difficult in whole tournament. Especially the matches against Morizono (last 16) and Mori (quarter-finals).” – Yang Xiaoxin (Monaco).
Saturday 3rd September: Women’s Singles – Main Draw