17 Apr 2019

Listed at a lowly no.198 on the current under 18 girls’ world rankings, Zang Xiaotong upset the order of merit to win the junior girls’ singles title on the evening of Tuesday 16th April at the 2019 Belgium Junior and Cadet Open in Spa, a day when the young ladies from China ruled supreme.

In addition, Leng Yutong and Liang Jiayi, both players with no current global status, captured the junior girls’ doubles gold.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

After, at the quarter-final stage having accounted for Germany’s Franziska Schreiner, the no.4 seed (11-3, 11-9, 12-10, 11-4), Zang Xiaotong beat colleague and likewise qualifier, Huang Yingqi (11-9, 6-11, 11-5, 11-8, 8-11, 11-4), before continuing her good form. She overcame Chinese Taipei’s Tsai Yu-Chin, the no.5 seed (12-10, 11-9, 11-13, 11-9, 11-6) to seal the title.

Notably, Huang Yingqi was very much a player in form; in the quarter-final round she had beaten compatriot Leng Yutong (11-13, 11-6, 11-6, 11-8, 11-6), the player who one round earlier had ousted Poland’s Anna Wegrzyn, the top seed (10-12, 11-7, 11-4, 8-11, 11-3, 11-9).

Tsai Yu-Chin beaten at the final hurdle by Zang Xiaotong (Photo: Mike Loveder)


Somewhat similarly, in the lower half of the draw Tsai Yu-Chin had impressed. Following success against China’s Li Yuqi (10-12, 11-7, 12-10, 11-5, 9-11, 11-7), the second round winner in opposition to Russia’s Kristina Kazantseva, the no.2 seed (11-8, 8-11, 11-9, 11-9, 6-11, 11-9), she caused Poland more heartaches by overcoming Katarzyna Wegrzyn, the no.3 seed (11-7, 12-10, 10-12, 11-7, 8-11, 5-11, 11-7) to reserve her place at the final table.

Gold for Zang Xiaotong; in the junior girls’ doubles when partnering Li Yuqi, the outcome was silver. After overcoming Russia’s Kristina Kasantseva and Olga Vishniakova, the no.2 seeds, they beat Germany’s Franziska Schreiner and Yuki Tsutsui, the no.8 seeds (11-3, 12-10, 8-11, 9-11, 11-4), prior ousting the combination of Croatia’s Marta Vukelic and Russia’s Ekaterina Zironova, the no.5 seeds (10-12, 11-8, 11-8, 11-5).

Leng Yutong and Liang Jayi, the junior girls’ doubles runners up (Photo: Bernard Comeliau)


A place in the final booked but there was no gold, a four games defeat was the outcome at the hands of Leng Yutong and Liang Jayi (3-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-5). Earlier in the quarter-final round, Leng Yutong and Liang Jiayi had ousted Anna Wegrzyn and Katarzyna Wegrzyn, the top seeds (11-3, 7-11, 11-5, 8-11, 11-6), before overcoming colleagues Huang Yingqi and Xu Yi to reach the final.

Success for China, in the hopes girls’ singles event, it was success for Chinese Taipei; Yeh Yi-Tian emerged the winner, at the final hurdle she accounted for Russia’s Iulia Prohorova (12-10, 11-4, 11-8).

Yeh Yi-Tian, the hopes girls’ singles champion (Bernard Comeliau)


The junior girls’ singles and hopes girls’ singles events concluded, attention now turns to the team competitions.

World Junior Circuit 2019 Belgium Junior and Cadet Open Zang Xiaotong

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