29 Nov 2018

On the opening day of play they met in the group qualification stage of the Junior Girls’ Singles event at the 2018 Portugal Junior and Cadet Open in Guimarães , both players with no world ranking and new to the international scene, they were surprise qualifiers.

Perhaps the surprise was not that great, on the second day of action, Wednesday 28th November, the host nation’s Liu Yangzi and China’s Qin Xiaoce met again; this time in the final. In the preliminary stage Liu Yangzi had succeeded with just the loss of one game (11-9, 11-13, 11-6, 11-9); in the final she displayed no charity whatsoever, she prevailed in straight games (12-10, 12-10, 11-8, 11-9).

by Ian Marshall, Editor

A most impressive performance in the final; earlier in the day it had been the same in the quarter-final round when beating Anna Hursey of Wales, the no.29 seed (11-1, 11-6, 11-9, 11-7) and in the semi-finals when ousting India’s Selena Selvakumar, the top seed (11-8, 18-16, 11-8, 11-3).

Success in style for Liu Yangzi; for Qin Xiaoce, in the later rounds life had been more testing. In the round of the last eight, she had accounted for colleague, Han Feier (12-10, 6-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-7), before, like Liu Yangzi, causing a major penultimate round upset and also ending Indian hopes. She beat Swastika Ghosh, the no.2 seed but experienced a tough test, six games were needed (11-4, 2-11, 13-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-5).

“Prior to the beginning of this competition I wasn’t aware of the level of the players. At the beginning I was feeling a little concerned because I wasn’t playing as well as I wanted but I improved as the matches progressed. I dedicate this trophy to all the coaches I have had along my career and to my family”. Liu Yangzi

Disappointment for Qin Xiaoce but there was success; she partnered compatriot, Xin Chenglin to Junior Girls’ Doubles gold. After recording a quarter-final win in opposition to the combination of Lavanya Maruthapandian of the United States and Russia’s Daria Mikhailova, the no.9 seeds, (11-5, 11-7, 11-7), they accounted for Sweden’s Jennie Edvisson and Alma Rose, the no.4 seeds (11-8, 13-11, 9-11, 12-10). A place in the final gained, the title was secured at the expense of the host nation’s Raquel Martins and Celia Silva, the no.2 seeds (7-11, 11-9, 11-5, 7-11, 11-7).

The Junior Girls’ Singles event over, attention now turns to the Junior Girls’ Team event.

World Junior Circuit 2018 Portugal Junior & Cadet Open Liu Yangzi Qin Xiaoce

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