by Simon Daish
Second Seeds Cause Final Upsets
Naturally the top seeds at many sporting events are often considered as the favourites to win the main prize on offer, and while there was a strong pool of talent participating at the Slovak Cadet Open the number one seeds for the Boys and Girls Singles, Feng Yi-Hsin and Tsai Yu-Chin were very much expected to lay claim to the silverware.
Yet Bratislava played host to the crowning of two unexpected champions as the second seeds of Tai Ming-Wei and Wong Chin Yau picked up the Boys and Girls Singles titles defeating Feng Yi-Hsin and Tsai Yu-Chin respectively.
Tai (TPE) narrowly claimed three tight games in the Boys Singles final, beating fellow compatriot Feng by a 0-3 scoreline (9-11, 8-11, 9-11) while the Girls Singles gold went to the lower ranked Wong (HKG) following her 2-3 (3-11, 11-9, 6-11, 13-11, 5-11) success against Tsai (TPE).
Prior to both finals the tournament saw positive showings from contestants from France and the host nation Slovakia; two of the Boys Singles semi-finalists Jules Cavaille and Bilal Hamache represented France, and both Dasa Sinkarova (SVK) and Zuzana Pekova (SVK) reached the last eight of the Girls Singles.
Doubles Clean Sweep for Chinese Taipei
While it may not have been a fantastic day for the top seeds in the Singles events, the exact opposite can be said about the two Doubles competitions.
Chinese Taipei’s Chien Tung-Chuan and Tsai-Yu-Chin, who entered the Girls Doubles category as the first seeds, made a great recovery against Chang Ju-Chia (TPE) and Huang Yu-Jie (TPE) in the final.
Chang and Huang looked on course to steal the title when they took a 0-2 lead in the tie, but a dramatic comeback from Chien and Tsai followed with three consecutive game wins going to the top seeds (8-11, 8-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-8).
The Boys Doubles final also went the way of the number one seeds, as Feng Yi-Hsin combined well with Tai Ming-Wei (7-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-9) to ensure that Chinese Taipei’s players leave Bratislava with five out of the six available gold medals.