Tournaments

07 Jul 2018

First place in the group against the odds, the host nation’s Liu Yebo and New Zealand’s Nathan Xu emerged the surprise names to book quarter-final places in the Junior Boys’ Singles event at the 2018 China Junior and Cadet Open in Taicang on Saturday 7th July.

Currently Nathan Xu appears at no.386 on the Under 18 Boys’ World Ranking, Liu Yebo has no status; neither occupied a seeded position. In fact both started proceedings as the lowest rated player in their respective groups.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Hitherto unbeaten, in the concluding group phase matches, each caused a notable upset.

Liu Yebo beat Japan’s Kazuki Hamada (11-8, 5-11, 11-4, 11-6), Nathan Xu accounted for Iran’s Radim Khayyam, the no.10 seed (9-11, 11-9, 5-11, 12-10, 11-8). Places in the main draw booked, the good form continued. Liu Yebo overcame Japan’s Horoto Shinosuka, the no.6 seed (11-5, 6-11, 11-6, 11-9, 3-11, 7-11, 11-7); Nathan Xu ended the hopes of Frenchman, Dorian Zheng, the no.14 seed (11-7, 6-11, 10-12, 11-8, 11-3, 11-7).

Otherwise, it was success for the principal names, first place in the group and a direct entry to round two.

Iran’s Amin Ahmadian, the top seed, beat Han Xinyuan (9-11, 11-5, 11-8, 8-11, 11-9, 12-10), in a round that proved most fruitful for China. Defeat for Han Xinyuan but there were wins for Yuan Licen, Kuang Li, Quan Kaiyuan and Cao Yantao.

Yuan Licen, the no.2 seed, defeated Japan’s Kazuki Hamada, the no.9 seed (11-5, 11-7, 12-10, 8-11, 11-5), Kuang Li, the no.3 seed, overcame Iran’s Mohammad Mousavi Taher (9-11, 12-10, 11-3, 11-5, 11-6). Likewise, in a similar vein to Yuan Licen, Quan Kaiyuan and Cao Yantao both ended Japanese hopes. Quan Kaiyuan accounted for Haruki Harada (11-7, 11-6, 11-2, 11-5), Cao Yantao ended the aspirations of Rikuto Maede (11-8, 11-4, 11-6, 11-9).

Disappointments for Japan but there was success; Kakeru Sone, the no.4 seed, beat Hong Kong’s Yiu Kwan To, the no.21 seed (11-3, 11-6, 11-5, 11-5), to reserve his quarter-final place.

In the round of the last eight, Amin Ahmadian meets Cao Yantao, Liu Yebo opposes Kuang Li; in the opposite half of the draw Kakeru Sone confronts Quan Kaiyuan, Nathan Xu plays Yuan Licen.

Proceedings in Taicang conclude on Sunday 8th July.

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World Junior Circuit 2018 China Junior & Cadet Open Nathan Xu Liu Yebo
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