Tournaments

07 Dec 2019

Canada's Eugene Wang sent a packed local crowd into a frenzy in one of the most thrilling matches of the men's singles competition so far at the 2019 ITTF Challenge Plus, Benemax-Virgo North American Open.

In the third round, the no.31 seed, the 34 year beat China’s 20 year old Cao Wei by the very narrowest of seven game margins (11-9, 8-11, 12-10, 2-11, 11-7, 7-11, 7-11, 11-9) to book his place in the quarter-finals.

by Matt Hetherington, the Media and Communications Director for USA Table Tennis

For the Canadian supporters it was a moment of redemption, following the first round exit of no.6 seed Zhang Mo in the women’s singles event.

Eugene Wang, a current world ranking of no.320, winner at last year’s United States Open in Orlando, Florida, world ranked as high as no.55 in 2016, flew the flag.

Nail-biting

The match against Cao Wei was nail-biting, all the elements of an absolute rollercoaster. Cao Wei was technically strong, he played with power and precision; Eugene Wang hit back with quick forehand counters early off the bounce and softer more controlled backhand play.

Experienced, Eguene Wang battled it out and fought back from some perilous situations, clawing his way to victory in the third game 12-10 to take a 2-1 lead and stealing the final game under unbelievable pressure by just two points.

Cao Wei always countered back as Eugene asserted himself, winning every alternate game but constantly finding himself ultimately behind in the match as the pattern continued. Eugene Wang either held a one game advantage or was level.

Standing ovation

Incredible points had the spectators on their feet as the Markham Pan Am Center audience grew almost to capacity, in the end it was Eugene Wang who was able to push himself through the match, much to the delight of his home crowd.

He advances into the quarter-final where meets Slovenia’s Darko Jorgic, can the home favourite continue his run even further? Darko Jorgic is the no.5 seed.

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Day 3 - 2019 ITTF Challenge Plus Benemax-Virgo North American Open