25 Mar 2018

Winner two days earlier of the Junior Girls’ Singles title, after partnering Huang Fanzhen to Junior Girls’ Doubles success; on Saturday 24th March, Qian Tianyi completed a clean sweep of available titles at the 2018 Italian Junior and Cadet Open in Lignano. In so doing she concluded her visit the city that borders the Adriatc unbeaten.

Once again alongside Huang Fanzhen and with Wu Yangchen completing the line-up the Junior Girls’ Team title was secured.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager

Furthermore, the title was secured in a most emphatic manner; from start to finish the score-line read three matches to nil in favour of China.

The only conceivable moment of anxiety was in the final when, after Huang Fanzhen had beaten Ekaterina Zironova in four games (6-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-7), Qian Tianyi need the full five to overcome Olga Vishniakova (8-11, 11-9, 6-11, 11-4, 11-8). A minor crisis averted, Wu Yanchen accounted for Natalia Malanina to seal the victory (11-9, 11-5, 11-4) and secure the title.

Comprehensive from the Chinese trio, it had been the same in the latter stages en route to the title deciding contest. At the quarter-final stage they had beaten the Portuguese combination of Raquel Martins, Vitoria Santos and Ines Batista in a most imposing manner, before ending the hopes of Slovakia’s Natalia Grigelova, Ema Labosova and Nikoleta Pochovanova in the semi-final round.

Progress to the final without any great moments of drama, for Russia it was somewhat different. At the quarter-final stage they beat the Romanian combination of Andreea Dragoman, Andreea Hudusan and Tania Plaian by three matches to two, before recording the same margin of victory against Belarus outfit comprising Maharyta Baltushite, Nadezhda Bogdanova and Darya Kisel.

Mainstay of the Russian progress was Ekaterina Zironova. Against Romania she beat Andreea Dragoman (8-11, 11-8, 11-9, 8-11, 13-11) and Tania Plaian (11-1, 11-6, 13-11), before in opposition to Belarus repeating the feat. Impressively, she accounted for Marharyta Baltushite (12-14, 11-8, 11-5, 11-5) and Nadezhda Bogdanova (12-14, 11-8, 11-9, 11-9).

Play in the team events concluded, the focus now turns to the individual events in the Cadet and Hopes age groups.

World Junior Circuit 2018 Italian Junior & Cadet Open Qian Tianyi

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