22 Dec 2017

Seizing the opportunities presented, against the odds Yuki Shoji won the Women’s Singles title at the 2017 United States Open in Las Vegas on Thursday 21st December, an event in which Japanese names dominated and celebrated names fell.

Notably there were early exits for the top four seeds as the host nation’s Lily Zhang, Wu Yue and Crystal Wang alongside Mexico’s Yadira Silva all fell in their quest to gain a podium finish.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

At the final hurdle Yuki Shoji accounted for Japanese colleague, Chiaki Kato (8-11, 12-10, 9-11, 15-13, 12-10, 9-11, 11-4), having in the second round ended the hopes of Yadira Silva, the no.3 seed (11-4, 11-7, 11-7, 11-3), prior to overcoming the host nation duo of Rachel Sung (11-8, 11-8, 11-4, 11-7) and Liu Ying (9-11, 13-11, 11-5, 11-3, 11-7) to reserve her place in the final.

Success against Liu Ying and a most notable success, at the quarter-final stage she had beaten Lily Zhang, the top seed (12-14, 11-4, 13-11, 11-9, 11-9).

Similarly, on her journey to the final, Chiaki Kato caused a major upset, after having recorded an opening round win over Lavanya Maruthapandian (11-3, 11-9, 11-4, 11-2 ), she accounted for a further United States adversary in the guise of Wu Yue, the no.2 seed (11-6, 7-11, 11-8, 11-2, 11-3), before overcoming compatriot, Yukiha Tamaishi (11-1, 15-13, 11-4, 11-5) and Li Ruini from the United States (11-9, 11-9, 11-3, 11-3) to reserve her place in the final.

Pertinently, just as Liu Jing had caused a major quarter-final upset prior to experiencing a semi-final exit, so did Li Ruini; in the round of the last eight she ended the hopes of Crystal Wang, the no.4 seed (8-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-7, 11-7).

Earlier than anticipated exits in the Women’s Singles event; it was the same in the Under 21 Women’s Singles competition.

Lily Zhang and Crystal Wang, the respective top two seeds, both departed in round two as did Croatia’s Andrea Pavlovic, the no.4 seed; for all three, it was their opening match in the event. Meanwhile, for Amy Wang, also from the United States, life was only marginally better; she fell by the wayside one round later at the quarter-final stage.

Xu Nuo, the eventual winner, who in the latter rounds beat Guo Jingshan (9-11, 11-3, 6-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-6), followed by success against Chi Ge to arrest the title (9-11, 11-4, 14-12, 11-8, 11-2, 11-3), had earlier ended the hopes Crystal Wang (11-7, 11-8, 11-3, 11-7).

Likewise, Chi Ge had beaten Lily Zhang (11-9, 11-8, 11-4, 11-6), Guo Jingshan had proved the nemesis of Andrea Pavlovic (11-3, 11-7, 11-5, 11-5); whilst Japan’s Miyu Baba, beaten by Chi Ge in the penultimate round (5-11, 11-7, 11-8, 6-11, 12-10, 5-11, 11-8) had halted the aspirations of Amy Wang (11-9, 11-1, 9-11, 11-6, 12-10).

Medals for Liu Ying and Chi Ge, it was the same in the Women’s Doubles event; in the title deciding contest, Liu Yang and compatriot, Yu Yang combined to beat Chi Ge and Shen Jiaying (11-13, 11-4, 12-14, 9-11, 11-6, 11-6).

At the semi-final stage, Liu Ying and Chi Ge had beaten Edina Haracic and Ana Aleksandric, also from the United States (11-3, 11-6, 7-11, 11-2, 11-5); most pertinently, Liu Ying and Chi Ge had overcome Wu Yue and Lily Zhang, the top seeds (11-9, 9-11, 15-13, 12-14, 11-5, 11-5).

Meanwhile, for Yuki Shoji, there was also a further medal. Partnering Kohei Morimoto the Mixed Doubles title was secured at the expense of compatriots Taimu Arinobu and Mayu Baba (4-11, 14-12, 13-11, 7-11, 11-3, 5-11, 11-6).

2017 United States Open: Full Results – Group Stage & Main Draw

General News 2017 United States Open