02 Nov 2021

Australia’s Liu Yangzi, Singapore’s Ser Lin Qian and Croatia’s Lana Benko capped a magical week in Italy when they clinched the Under-19, Under-15 and Under-11 Girls’ Singles titles, respectively, as WTT Youth Contender Lignano concluded on Saturday.

by Calvin Koh

Liu started her campaign convincingly with comprehensive 3-0 wins over Italy’s Aurora Cicuttini, Hungary’s Irisz Laskai and Switzerland’s Cynthia Lilly in the group stages. The Australian commenced her knock-out rounds by eliminating England’s Amy Marriott and Hungary’s Dorottya Tolgyes in the Rounds of 32 and 16.

The Australian then dispatched Austria’s Anastasiya Radzionava in the quarter-final before a straight-game win over Sweden’s Matilda Hansson in the semi-final to set up a showdown with Singapore’s Zhou Jingyi.

Liu, making her first competitive appearance in nearly two years, won the first game 11-9 before Zhou levelled the score by taking the second game 11-5. Liu proved too strong for the Singaporean as she won the next two games 11-8, 11-5 to clinch the Under-19 Girls Singles title.

“Everyone tries hard to win this competition, and it’s the same for me. Zhou Jingyi played a very good match, but I’m happy I achieved my goal in the end. This is my last event as a junior, and so this win is very important for me,” said 19-year-old Liu.

Ser, meanwhile, was in a class of her own as she stormed her way to the Under-15 final with straight game wins over Italy’s Giulia Varveri, Austria’s Celine Anubis Panholzer and Sweden’s Alice Nilsson.

Her clash with Ireland’s Sophie Earley was not as straight-forward, but the 15-year-old surprised even herself as she produced another magical performance to outclass her rival 3-2 (5-11, 11-5, 11-8, 10-12, 11-7) in a five-game contest.

“I did not expect to win the tournament because I am recovering from a back injury. This is my second event after last week’s event in Poland. It was a close fight with Sophie in the final, and she put up a strong challenge. I am delighted with my game and happy to have won my first international Singles title,” said Ser.

In the Under-11 Girls’ Singles event, Benko defeated Austria’s Mariia Lytvyn 3-2 (9-11, 11-5, 10-12, 11-8, 11-8) to top the podium.

“I really wanted to win this competition because I have been playing well. So, I’m very proud and happy of this golden moment,” said Benko.

For more details on WTT Youth Contender Lignano, click here.

General News Ser Lin Qian Liu Yangzi Lana Benko

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