by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Adversaries from the United States emerged as the opponents for Edward Ly in the latter stages, both very much surprise names.
At the semi-final stage, he beat Daniel Ng, a player with no current world ranking (11-5, 11-8, 11-8), before overcoming Sid Naresh, the no.14 seed (11-5, 11-8, 11-8), to claim the title. In the counterpart semi-final, Sid Naresh had ousted Canada’s Edison Huang, the no.4 seed (8-11, 11-4, 10-12, 14-12, 11-6).
“Feels incredible, this is my first international title; the key to the win was to start the first attack with good placement, to not let him put pressure on me because he has good defence.” Edward Ly
“I was able to pull one out against Edison in the semi and I had amazing coaches and teammates to help me. In the final he kind of got me sleeping in the beginning. I almost came back in the last game but he deserved to win.” Sid Naresh
Success without ever being stretched the full five games distance; for Lavanya Maruthapandian life was very different.
In the final she beat colleague Sabrina Zhu, the no.12 seed, by the very minimal margin (11-9, 11-8, 4-11, 8-11, 12-10), after having accounted for Swathi Giri also of the United States and the no.4 seed, one round earlier (11-2, 11-7, 12-10).
“Feels really good; the last two times I won consolation events; now I won the tournament, so it feels really nice to win. In the third and fourth games I lost my patience but then in the fifth game I told myself to calm down relax a bit.” Lavanya Maruthapandian
In the opposite half of the draw, in the penultimate round, Sabrina Zhu had beaten Canada’s Isabelle Xiong, the no.3 seed (11-2, 8-11, 11-6, 11-6).