by Ian Marshall, Editor
Furthermore, at no stage of the competition was he ever extended the full distance; most notably on the concluding day of play, achieving what very few at any level have ever achieved, one after another he ended Chinese aspirations.
At the quarter-final stage, the no.4 seed, he beat Quan Kaiyuan, the no.5 seed (11-2, 11-4, 6-11, 11-7, 11-9), prior to overcoming Yuan Licen, the no.2 seed and winner earlier this year in Oman (11-6, 11-5, 11-7, 11-8) to book his place in the final where the good form was maintained.
In the title decider, he beat Liu Yebo (11-6, 2-11, 11-5, 12-10, 11-6); three Chinese players beaten on home soil; that’s an achievement in its own right, one in future years Kakeru Sone can tell his grandchildren!
No current world ranking, Liu Yebo was very much the surprise finalist; notably ousting colleagues in the later rounds. At the quarter-final stage he beat Kuang Li, the no.3 seed and winner in May in Thailand (11-6, 12-10, 12-14, 11-7, 12-10), prior to ending the hopes of Cao Yantao, the no.8 seed (8-11, 11-9, 11-4, 12-10, 4-11, 11-8).
Defeat for Cao Yantao but he could take solace in the fact that at the quarter-final stage, he overcame Iran’s Amin Ahmadian, the top seed and winner in March in Tunisia (11-9, 7-11, 13-11, 11-8, 13-11) to reserve his place in the penultimate round for the first time this in his career. On his two previous excursions this year, he had departed proceedings at the quarter-final stage in both the Czech Republic and Poland.
Play concluded in Taicang, attention now turns to the city of Amman; the 2018 Jordan Junior and Cadet Open commences on Wednesday 25th July.