06 Jun 2018

New Zealand’s Nathan Xu remained unbeaten but it was Aditya Godhwani who emerged the star name on the second day of action, Tuesday 5th June, at the 2018 Cook Islands Junior and Cadet Open in Rarotonga.

Partnering Australia’s Finn Luu, the duo won the Cadet Boys’ Team title and in so doing performed a quite remarkable turn-around.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager

On the opening day of play, they had finished in second place in their initial phase group, suffering a three-nil defeat at the hands of the Chinese trio formed by Ji Xinyue, Sun Haoran and Wang Hongxiang, who duly remained unbeaten to secure first place.

However, the margin of victory was rather closer than the score line may suggest. After Finn Luu had experienced a four games defeat at the hands of Sun Haoran (11-9, 9-11, 12-10, 11-6), full distance defeats followed. Aditya Godhwani had been beaten by Wong Hongxiang (11-6, 11-9, 11-13, 7-11, 11-6), before in a similar contest Ji Xinyue and Sun Haoran had secured the doubles (11-9, 11-9, 7-11, 8-11, 11-6).

On the second day of play, the teams met once again, this time in the final; teams finishing in first and second positions in each of the two groups advancing to the penultimate round.

It proved a very different story; Aditya Godhwani emerged the star man in a quite stunning three-one victory. He recovered from a two games to nil deficit to beat Sun Haoran (6-11, 6-11, 12-10, 11-9. 11-8), before joining forces with Finn Luu to secure the doubles against Ji Xinyue and Sun Haoran (12-10, 11-5, 11-8). Outstanding form; it was maintained; he sealed victory by overcoming Wang Hongxiang (6-11, 11-3, 11-2, 11-8). The one win for China was recorded by Wang Hongxiang, in the second match of the fixture, he beat Finn Luu (12-10, 11-9, 11-9).

Success for Aditya Godhwani and Finn Luu but it was almost a final that didn’t happen. In the penultimate round, they were stretched the full five match distance by New Zealand’s Park Sangyong and Nathan Xu. The player to cause the problems was Nathan Xu; he beat both Aditya Godhwani (11-4, 11-3, 11-7) and Finn Luu (5-11, 11-5, 12-10, 11-6).

Somewhat differently, in the counterpart semi-final, China had recorded a three-nil win in opposition to the Fiji Islands pairing of Jao Chauhan and Vicky Wu.

Play in the Cadet Boys’ Team event concluded, attention now turns to the individual events; the 2018 Cook Islands Junior and Cadet Open concludes on Thursday 7th June.

World Junior Circuit 2018 Cook Islands Junior & Cadet Open Nathan Xu Finn Luu Aditys Godhwani

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