Young Chinese are taking over

China Open review

ITTF Press Release

Qingdao, China, 31 May 2002. The Chinese male players, who won the Teams World Championships last year in Osaka, are not at all old but nevertheless already now even younger Chinese are “attacking” them from behind.

On Friday two of the World Champions had to surrender to compatriots. KONG Linghui is Olympic Champion as well but he lost to the young WANG Hao. However WANG is not a nobody – he already won the Egypt Open, giving a lesson to players like Vladimir SAMSONOV (BLR) and Jean-Michel SAIVE (BEL).

Against KONG the young WANG Hao met troubles that would have broken down a lot of other youngsters. In the 5th game, leading 3-1, he had several match points but KONG survived due to 3 edge balls and 2 net balls – within the last 10 points played.

Losing this game though WANG just continued on his own road and he took the next game to win the match 4-2.

LIU Guozheng (CHN) – the Chinese hero from the Teams World Championships final – lost easily to the lefthander QIN Zhijian who anyway also is a World Champion. He won the mixed doubles in Osaka.

The young Swede Jens LUNDQVIST took another impressive win after his 1st round victory over KIM Taek Soo (KOR). LUNDQVIST continued with his brilliant aggressive game in the match against CHIANG Peng-Lung (TPE) and the Swede won 4-1. Next opponent is the World Champion in men’s singles WANG Liqin (CHN).

New Swede on his way

Qingdao, China, 31 May 2002. The Swedes have been anxious that there would be nobody to take over after WALDNER and PERSSON – Jens Lundqvist might be the answer.

On Friday the young Swede (nr. 68 on the World Ranking) proved that he can play with – and beat – the best, when he steamrolled nr. 12 in the World KIM Taek Soo (KOR). LUNDQVIST simply won 4-0 never giving KIM any chance to get in control.
“I knew that to beat him I would have to play 100 percent all the time – and I am happy to say that I did it”, says the young Swede who recently was in the Swedish team that won the European Championships.

“The Europeans of course gave me some self confidence. I knew that I could challenge the very best, it is nice to know now, that I can also beat them”.

LUNDQVIST never stepped back during the match against KIM Taek Soo. The Swede knew that he would have to play from side to side to force the pen holding KIM to move as much as possible and to keep him in a passive role. He did that brilliantly.

In the next round another World Class penholder, CHIANG Peng-Lung (TPE) is waiting for LUNDQVIST.

Short trip to china

Qingdao, China, 31 May 2002. LIN Ling (HKG) came to the Panasonic China Open as the Italian Open Champion and everybody was curious to see what she could achieve against her former compatriots, the Chinese WANG Nan and NIU Jianfeng – but they will not meet this time.

LIN Ling ran into unexpected troubles against the North Korean KIM Mi Young who blocked LIN Ling’s heavy top spin very efficiently and aggressively. However it was close all the way with LIN Ling leading most of the time.
LIN Ling though could never create the distance to KIM that could have made her feel more safe. Instead she had to carry all the way the burden of the favourite having KIM constantly on her back.

LIN had a match point already in the 6th game, but KIM survived and took the game to even to 3-3. In the 7th LIN Ling was leading as well, but from 9-6 she got caught once again, and KIM had the first match point at 9-10. From 10-10 LIN Ling had 4 match points without being able to walk away with the victory. Instead KIM Mi Young took it home 15-17.

The two top seeds WANG Nan and NIU Jianfeng (CHN) both won easily. One of the expected challengers to the Chinese KIM Moo Kyo (KOR) was outclassed by the defensive Chinese TANG Yuan. TANG won 4-0.

Top seeds on the edge

Qingdao, China, 31 May 2002. The top seeds in men’s doubles WANG Liqin and YAN Sen (CHN) was on the edge of losing in their first round match against the Singapore pair DUAN Yong Jun/ZHANG Tai Yong.

The Chinese World Champions were down 2-1, and in the 4th game the Singapore also went to 5-1. Then WANG and YAN got organised, but the match went all the way to 11-9 in the 5th game – with the Chinese as winners.
Another top pair CHIANG Peng-Lung/CHANG Yen-Shu (TPE) was also in trouble. The top German Timo BOLL turned out to form a very good doubles pair together with compatriot Thomas KEINATH and also that match went to a close 5th game.

CHIANG and CHANG went to 10-6 but the Germans came back to 10-9 before the Taipei pair could take the winning point.

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