22 Dec 2018

Disappointment one month ago at the Pan American Championships in Santiago, when injury forced a third round withdrawal from proceedings, Canada’s Eugene Wang won the Men’s Singles title at the 2018 United States Open in Orlando on the evening of Friday 21st December.

The success brought the penultimate day of action to a close after the host nation’s Liu Juan had secured the counterpart Women’s Singles title.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

At the final hurdle, Eugene Wang, the no.3 seed, overcame Japan’s Kanoya Ryohei, a player who had been required to compete in the qualification group stage, by the very narrowest of margins; he recovered from a three games to one deficit to secure victory (11-9, 12-14, 11-13, 9-11, 11-7, 11-1, 12-10).

Hard earned success and it had been the same at the semi-final stage for both players but without the drama of the title decider; Eugene Wang had beaten Germany’s Tobias Hippler, the no.5 seed in four games (11-8, 11-4, 13-11, 11-4), in six games Kanoya Ryohei had overcome colleague and fellow qualifier, Atsuya Takeshi (15-17, 11-8, 11-6, 8-11, 11-9, 11-7).

Success for Eugene Wang meant that he secured the title for a third time; previously he had won in 2012 and 2013; meanwhile for Liu Juan, it was her second success and a degree of déjà vu. Like Eugene Wang, she had also won in 2012.

Required to compete in the qualification stage, at the final hurdle, she overcame colleague Lily Zhang, the no.3 seed (4-11, 14-12, 11-7, 8-11, 11-5, 14-12), having in the penultimate round ended the adventures of Japan’s Eka So, also a qualifier (11-8, 9-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-8). In the opposite half of the draw, Lily Zhang had reserved her place in the final courtesy of success in opposition to Germany’s Nina Mittelham, the no.2 seed (7-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-7, 11-1).

An enthralling end to the day; earlier it had been very much the same as the Under 21 Men’s Singles and Under 21 Women’s Singles titles were decided.

Notably, the former witnessed a clean sweep of medals for the host nation. After accounting for Tian Ye (11-4, 11-7, 13-15, 9-11, 11-8), Michael Tran recovered from a two games to nil deficit to beat Kaden Xu by the very minimal two point margin (7-11, 7-11, 11-6, 11-8, 12-10) to claim the title; Kaden Xu having ousted Zhang Kai in the penultimate round (11-4, 9-11, 15-13, 6-11, 11-7).

Similarly in the Under 21 Women’s Singles event, the United States was dominant but there was an interloper in the guise of England’s Maria Tsaptsinos. A semi-final defeat was to be her lot, she was beaten by Xu Nuo (11-1, 14-12, 11-3), who suffered in the title decider when confronting Chi Ge (12-10, 15-13, 16-14). In the counterpart semi-final Che Ge had ousted Lin Jiaqi (11-5, 11-8, 11-3), the winner earlier in the week of the Junior Girls’ Singles title.

Play concludes on Saturday 22nd December with the Men’s Doubles, Women’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles events.

2018 United States Open: Seeding and Results

2018 United States Open: Feature articles by Matt Hetherington and Richard Finn

2018 United States Open Eugene Wang Liu Juan