09 Nov 2018

Runner up on home soil in Taicang as well as in Hong Kong earlier in the year, China’s Liu Yebo won the Junior Boys’ Singles title at the 2018 Hungarian Junior and Cadet Open in Szombathely on Thursday 8th November.

At the final hurdle he accounted for colleague, Cao Yantao (11-2, 11-8, 11-5, 4-11, 7-11, 11-8), a player competing in his career first ITTF World Junior Circuit Boys’ Singles final; earlier in the year, he had been a semi-finalist in Taicang, a quarter-finalist in both the Czech Republic and Poland.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

A final of high quality, en route to the title deciding contest both players had impressed.

In the later rounds Liu Yebo had beaten Russia’s Vladimir Sidorenko, the no.3 seed (11-5, 11-9, 11-4, 11-9), colleague Chen Yuanyu (11-5, 11-2, 11-9, 11-5) and Japan’s Takeru Kashiwa, the no.5 seed (11-9, 11-7, 11-8, 11-4). Notably one round earlier Takeru Kashiwa had ousted Frenchman Vincent Picard (9-11, 11-9, 13-11, 11-5, 11-4), the fourth round winner in opposition to Chile’s Nicolas Burgos, the top seed (9-11, 11-9, 13-11, 11-5, 11-4).

“In the final the led three-nil. I felt comfortable but I lost concentration. Luckily it didn’t cost my victory. I started the competition slowly but as I got further I was able to play more confidently.” Liu Yebo

Similarly, Cao Yantao had imposed his authority on proceedings. Safely through to the fourth round he accounted for Russia’s Lev Katsman, the no.7 seed (10-12, 12-10, 11-6, 11-2, 9-11, 11-3), before recording a quarter-final in opposition to Chinese Taipei’s Tai Ming-Wei, the no.4 seed and winner earlier in the year in El Salvador (11-9, 10-12, 12-14, 11-6, 11-4, 11-2), prior to recording a semi-final success against Frenchman, Lilian Bardet, the no.12 seed (11-9, 11-4, 11-7, 8-11, 6-11, 11-6).

Success against Lilian Bardet was a notable win; earlier he had beaten Romania’s Cristian Chirita (10-12, 11-7, 11-9, 12-10, 11-3), the second round winner in opposition to Brazil’s Guilherme Teodoro, the no.2 seed (6-11, 9-11, 12-10, 11-7, 9-11, 11-4, 11-7).

Silver for Cao Yantao in the Junior Boys’ Singles event, it was the same colour in the Junior Boys’ Doubles competition; partnering Liang Guodong, it was defeat in the final at the hands of Lev Katsman in partnership with colleague, Maksim Grebnev (13-11, 11-7, 3-11, 11-6).

Play in the Junior Boys’ Singles and Junior Boys’ Doubles events concluded; attention now turns to the Junior Boys’ Team and Cadet Boys’ Team competitions.

World Junior Circuit 2018 Hungarian Junior and Cadet Open Liu Yebo

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