by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Listed at no.308 on the current Women’s World Rankings, after earlier in the day beating India’s Ankita Das (11-9, 15-13, 11-2, 11-8), she accounted for Sweden’s Matilda Ekholm (12-14, 10-12, 9-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-4).
Presently, Ankita Das is listed at no.71 in the global order, Matilda Ekholm at no.37.
“Playing Matilda I tried to change the length when blocking and play to the corners, create angles.” Yang Xiaoxin
Notably Yang Xiaoxin uses smooth reversed rubber on the forehand but long pimples on the backhand.
“There are very few players nowadays who have my style of play, so it’s difficult for them to adapt to play against me. Using the long pimples enables me to change the length of my returns; also when I chop block, the ball comes back with backspin and that causes opponents problems. Today was better than expected, I feel I played well, I knew playing against Matilda would be really difficult but my coach helped me get the tactics right.” Yang Xiaoxin.
The coach in question was Spain’s Maria Xiao who in her one and only match of the day had lost to China’s Zhang Rui (11-5, 11-2, 11-5, 12-10).
“I’m pleased to watch her play; I learn from watching her play.” Maria Xiao.
It was for Yang Xiaoxin only her second international tournament since her maternity break; earlier this year in January she competed in the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Hungarian Open. She was beaten in the opening round in a close seven games contest by Hong Kong’s Doo Hoi Kem (8-11, 11-7, 5-11, 11-13, 11-8, 11-6, 11-9).
First place in the group for Yang Xiaoxin and Zhang Rui contrary to current status; it was the same for Wang Yidi, also from China, as it was forJapan’s Miyu Nagasaki and Korea’s Yoo Eunchong; all players who started the day as third highest listed in their respective group. They ended the day unbeaten and thus in first place.