17 Nov 2016

Winner of the Boys’ Singles title at the 2013 ITTF World Cadet Challenge staged in Otocec, Slovenia; China’s Wang Chuqin was very much a player to impress as proceedings commenced in the qualification stage of the Men’s Singles event at the 2016 ITTF World Tour Swedish Open in Stockholm on Tuesday 15th November.

Now 16 years old, in his opening match of the campaign he beat Chinese Taipei’s Yang Tzu-Yi in four straight games (11-4, 11-4, 11-5, 11-5).

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Currently Wang Chuqin possesses no World ranking as opposed to Yang Tzu-Yi who is listed at no.182; however, the Chinese teenager is no stranger to the international scene.

Notably when only 12 years old, he won the Junior Boys’ Singles title at the 2012 Chengdu Junior and Cadet Open, before in both 2014 and 2015 being on duty at the World Junior Championships; two years ago in Shanghai he advanced to the quarter-final stage, more recently, last year in Paris, he was a semi-finalist.

Furthermore, he possesses ITTF World Tour experience; in 2014 he competed in both Argentina and Brazil, a Men’s Singles quarter-finalist in the former, semi-finalist in the latter; prior to last week returning to the scene.

“It was a good first match for this tournament. I feel a bit more relaxed since I already played last week in Austria, so I was a bit less nervous today. I feel more pressure playing internationally then home in China. The pressure is much higher. It’s a great venue and I feel good playing here and the first step for me in this tournament is to qualify for the main event and then my main goal is to try to reach the quarter-finals”, Wang Chuqin

He was on duty at the 2016 ITTF World Tour Hybiome Austrian Open, his nemesis being Brazil’s Hugo Calderano, the eventual runner up. Defeat but Wang Chuqin did give his more senior adversary food for thought; he extended the 20 year old from Rio de Janeiro to six games (11-5, 6-11, 14-12, 11-8, 4-11, 11-8).

Left handed, playing close to the table, Wang Chuqin excels; watching him play my mind goes back to the 1990s, he is very much a clone of Wang Tao, the silver medallist in the Men’s Singles event at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games.

“I have a great belief in him as a player; that is why we start letting him play internationally at a young age in order to let him get used to the pressure and be able to perform better in the future. He needs to get used to high pressure and handle it”, Liu Heng, personal coach for Wang Chuqin

 The style is just the same, creating angles from the backhand with high level control, being able to absorb the attacking play of his adversary and unleash an ever repetitive forehand top spin to maintain pressure on an adversary and bring success.

However, there are two notable differences. Wang Tao used short pimpled rubber on the backhand, as opposed to Wang Chuqin who utilises smooth reversed rubber on both sides of the racket. Also, I would suggest that Wang Chuqin is a few pounds lighter!

One other factor that needs to be considered; Wang Tao was known for been an outstanding singer; what of Wang Chuqin?

Maybe he is good with the vocals as well; in Stockholm, he is most certainly in tune.

The opening day at the 2016 ITTF World Tour Swedish Open

World Tour Swedish Open Wang Chuqin

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