US Open: Good start for Americans

US Open review

ITTF Press Releases

Tournament opens in Fort Lauderdale

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL - Entrants from 24 countries began Qualifying Round play on Wednesday at the US Open ITTF Pro Tour.

Well known international players on the men's side required to earn a spot in the 64 player main draw include Magnus MOLIN (SWE), Martin MONRAD (DEN), Robert GaARDOS (AUT), and Hugo HOYAMA (BRA) as well as the Germans Thomas KEINATH, Zoltan FEJER-Konnerth and Stefan FETH.

North American men are also seeking to move up, including Canadians Bence CSABA, Faazil KASSAM and Pradeeban PETER-PAUL; and young American hopefuls Mark Hazinski, HAN Xiao, Adam HUGH and Jared LYNCH.

A number of Japanese women players are attempting to qualify, including Miyuki NISHII Miuki, Midori ITO and Kumi IMATUKU all top seeded in their groups.

Full Chinese team

Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 3 July 2002. At the US Open 2001 LIU Guozheng was the only top male Chinese present – and he won the Men’s Singles. This year the Chinese are presenting all their top players in Fort Lauderdale – 6 players from the Top 20 of the World plus the runner up at the Chinese Open QIN Zhijian.

It is difficult to see who could prevent this from not being a “Chinese” event.
However the impressive Chinese presentation in Men’s Singles was also the case at the Qatar Open earlier this year – but at the end all the Chinese were watching the final from outside.

The finalist from Qatar Open, CHUAN Chih-Yuan (TPE) is in Florida to challenge the Chinese again and other possible obstacles could be the Austrian Werner SCHLAGER and the 3 Koreans OH Sang Eun, RYU Seung Min and LEE Chul Seung.

In Women’s Singles the Chinese also have to take the role as favourites with the two finalist from the Grand Finals in January, WANG Nan and NIU Jianfeng leading the team. ZHANG Yining is there as well, trying to make up for her surprising exit last year, when she lost in the early rounds to the German Olga NEMES who is in Fort Lauderdale once more.

The new title holders will be crowned on Sunday.

Home crowd encouraged by US Men's performance

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL - As qualifying play began today at the US Open ITTF Pro Tour, American spectators were encouraged by strong performances from a newcomer and a former U.S. Olympian.

Fifteen-year-old Han XAIO (USA) captured two consecutive victories to win his qualifier group and move into the main ITTF Pro Tour draw.
Facing a frequent North American tournament rival in this first match, XAIO trailed Canadian junior Faazil KASSAM early, before winning 5-11, 11-5, 8-11, 11-6, 11-8, 7-11, 12-10.

To earn the move-up, XAIO energized the partisan crowd with effective backhand looping tactics against the short pips block of Yoichi TANIGUCHI (JPN). XAIO won 11-9, 11-8, 6-11, 5-11, 11-6, 11-8.

In other early action, former Olympian Jim BUTLER (USA) downed Chi Yuan CHENG (TPE) 9-11, 11-3, 11-9, 11-9, 11-8 to remain alive in his quest to advance. BUTLER will face Cazuo MATSUMOTO (BRA) to settle the round robin.

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