08 Dec 2021

Imposing in partnership, the very same when alone; China’s Kuai Man and Wu Yangchen displayed their undoubtedly quality on the penultimate day of action, Tuesday 7th December, at the 2021 World Youth Championships in Vila Nova de Gaia.

Competing in the under 19 age group they secured the girls’ doubles title, having earlier in the day reserved places in the girls’ singles semi-finals.

by Ian Marshall

The no.13 seeds, in the girls’ doubles final, they accounted for the United States combination of Rachel Sung and Amy Wang, the no.10 seeds (11-3, 11-3, 6-11, 11-1).

Notably it was the second meeting of the day between Kuai Man and Rachel Sung; the had met in the girls’ singles semi-final, Kuai Man prevailing in five games (6-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-7, 11-2).

A result contrary to seeding, Rachel Sung commenced play the no.21 seed, Kuai Man the no.21 seed.

Kuai Man now faces Japan’s Haruna Ojio, the no.23 seed, the quarter-final winner in opposition to Germany’s Sophia Klee, the no.16 seed (11-1, 11-3, 11-1, 11-3).

Impressive from Kuai Man, in the opposite half of the girls’ singles, it was the same from Wu Yangchen. The no.25 seed, she ended the hopes of Russia’s Elizabet Abraamian, the no.2 seed (11-8, 11-6, 7-11, 11-4, 11-5).

At the semi-final stage Wu Yangchen confronts Miyu Kihara, the no.17 seed and quarter-final winner in opposition to Romania’s Ioanna Singeorzan, the no.12 seed Ann-Christin Hellman (11-7, 11-8, 11-9, 11-6).

Success for Russia

Meanwhile, in the corresponding boys’ doubles it was success for Russia; Maksim Grebnev and Vladimir Sidorenko, the no.9 seeds and winners at the WTT Youth Star Contender tournament earlier this year in May, emerged victorious.

Causing somewhat of an upset, they beat the combination of Hungary’s Csaba Andras and Hungary’s Ivor Ban, the no.4 seeds, to reserve the top step of the podium (9-11, 6-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-9).

“We are very happy that we could win this match, we were down 2-0, and I don’t know how we reached this level to keep us in the game and win three sets. Now we won the first gold medal for Russia and we can bring this home. Our doubles lost two times in the final, so this time we won the gold medal for Russia.” Vladimir Sidorenko

Notably it is the second time that Maksim Grebnev and Vladimir Sidorenko have reached the boys’ doubles final. In 2018 in Bendigo Maksim Grebnev was the runner up, partnering Lev Katsman; in 2019 in Korat it was the same for Vladimir Sidorenko in harness with Artem Tikhonov.

Success for Vladimir Sidorenko but in the boys’ singles it was the end of the road, as it was for Ivor Ban.

China proves nemesis

Both experienced quarter-final defeats at Chinese hands. Vladimir Sidorenko, the no.10 seed, was beaten by Xiang Peng, the no.29 seed (11-9, 9-11, 11-4, 11-7); Ivor Ban experienced defeat when facing Zeng Beixun, the no.31 seed (11-5, 6-11, 11-8, 11-4, 7-11, 8-11, 11-8).

Xiang Peng now meets, India’s Payas Jain for a place in the final; Zeng Beixun confronts Poland’s Samuel Kulczycki.

Payas Jain, the no.3 seed, booked his semi-final place courtesy of success against Iran’s Navid Shams, the no.9 seed (11-9, 11-8, 11-8, 8-11, 11-4); Samuel Kulczycki, the no.15 seed, ended the hopes of Romania’s Darius Movileanu, the no.2 seed (13-11, 11-5, 4-11, 11-7, 11-8).

“I feel so happy and proud right now! It is the first time that India wins a medal, so I’m really, really happy! In the future I expect to play better than ever, I don’t have limits, today I got a really good boost!” Payas Jain

The semi-finals and finals of both the boys’ singles and girls’ singles events will be played on Wednesday 8th December, the day play concludes in Vila Nova de Gaia.





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