26 Jul 2018

A golden year in 2014 when he won the Men’s Singles title on the ITTF World Tour in Japan and later in the year in Shanghai when crowned World Junior champion but since that time great successes to catch the eye, on Thursday 26th July in Geelong, the potential shown four years ago was realised.

Now 20 years old in the opening round of the Men’s Singles event at the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Platinum Australian Open, he caused the biggest upset of the day; he beat Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov, the top seed.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

In a contest where he seized the early advantage Yu Ziyang had to withstand a determined recovery by Dimitrij Ovtcharov before emerging successful. One wondered when Dimitrij Ovtcharov won the fifth game had the tide turned? To his great credit Yu Ziyang stood firm (11-7, 11-7, 6-11, 13-11, 15-17, 6-11, 11-3).

“I think I came into the match fully prepared, especially with the tactics. Ovtcharov is not very familiar with my playing style. I have watched him play for many years, so I know him well. My mind-set changed a bit when victory was around the corner. So in the deciding game, I tried to play more firmly. This victory is a re-assurance. After losing the sixth game, my coach just told me to believe in myself, there is still hope, at that time he did not need to emphasize the tactics. He just told me to play firmly.” Yu Ziyang

Disappointment for Dimitrij Ovtcharov and in successive weeks, defeat against a fast attacking left hander; seven days ago in Daejeon he was beaten in the second round by Japan’s Jun Mizutani when again the top seed. Likewise, he lost in six games (11-6, 2-11, 11-8, 11-3, 5-11, 11-4).

“I am very satisfied that I am completely pain free; of course it has been disappointing results for me in Korea and Australia after having such a run last year. It’s difficult to accept that it’s going to be tough now but that is sport. If you are out for a few months you need to practise hard and get your confidence back.” Dimitrij Ovtcharov

Success for Yu Ziyang and like Korea Republic’s Jang Woojin last week in Daejeon, a win waiting to happen; his exploits stunned. What riches await Yu Ziyang in Geelong, now full of confidence?

World Tour 2018 Seamaster Australia Open Dimitrij Ovtcharov Yu Ziyang

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