03 Aug 2018

A fifth appearance on this year’s ITTF World Junior Circuit but yet to really make his mark; on Friday 3rd August at the 2018 Hang Seng Hong Kong Junior and Cadet Open, 16 year old Frenchman, Dorian Zheng made his mark.

He caused the biggest upset in the initial stage of the Junior Boys’ Singles event.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

In a most impressive manner, he made the perfect start to the day; in his opening contest, he beat Germany’s Meng Fanbo, the no.7 seed, in three straight games (11-4, 11-5, 12-10), prior to overcoming the host association’s Chan Hing Cheung in a similar manner (11-4, 11-3, 11-1) to secure top spot in the group.

Defeat for Meng Fanbo but it was his only reverse; in the first match of the day, he had beaten Chan Hing Cheung (11-3, 11-7, 8-11, 11-8) and thus secured second place and progress to the main draw. Players finishing in first and second positions in each group advance to the main draw.

Top spot against the odds for Dorian Zheng; it was the same for China’s Liu Yebo and Hong Kong’s Cheng Pak Hei.

Liu Yebo, followed the same path as Dorian Zheng. He remained unbeaten, notably accounting for Su Zhi, the no.12 seed and like Cheng Pak Hei from Hong Kong in an encounter decided by the minimal two point margin in the fifth game (10-12, 11-7, 11-6, 9-11, 13-11). It was for Su Zhi his only defeat; thus second place in the group was secured,

Meanwhile, for Chan Hing Cheung, it was a different route to top spot. In the opening match in the group; Singapore’s Josh Chan Shao Han, the no.11 seed, was beaten by Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yung-Chih in four games (11-7, 11-6, 9-11, 11-9). On his next visit to the table, he accounted for Cheng Pak Hei in five games (10-12, 11-5, 11-8, 10-12, 11-8). Defeat for Cheng Pak Hei but then he immediately recovered to overcome Lin Yung-Chih in three straight games (11-5, 11-9, 11-4).

Thus on games ratio it was first place for Cheng Pak Hei (5:3), followed by Josh Chan Shao Han (4:5) and Lin Yung-Chih (3:4).

Three surprise first places, defeats for seeded player but not amongst the top names on duty. China’s Xu Haidong, the top seed and Singapore’s Pang Yew En Koen, the no.3 seed, secured first places in their respective groups without due alarm. Somewhat differently for Thailand’s Yanapong Panagitgun, the no.2 seed and Japan’s Takeru Kashiwa, the no.4 seed, there were some nervous moments.

Yanapong Panagitgun lost the first two games against Aditya Godhwani of the United States, before recovering (9-11, 10-12, 11-8, 11-9, 11-6); likewise Takeru Kashiwa fought back from a similar situation against Singapore’s Takeru Kashiwa (9-11, 5-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-5).

Play in the Junior Boys’ Singles event will proceed to the semi-final stage on Saturday 4th August.

World Junior Circuit 2018 Hong Kong Junior & Cadet Open Dorian Zheng

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