Friday, 12 October 2012

Phillip Xiao and Vicky Yang Claim Under 21 Crowns

In a day of fantastic matches, the Under 21 Mens Singles provided some of the most quality matches. Starting with the qualifying groups early in the morning. All groups went to plan save for Victor Ma stealing qualification away from Daniel Lowe with a 3-1 win and a countback in the last group after Victor Pollett won in 5 sets over Roger Rao, leaving Zhiyang Cheng to qualify first with Roger in 2nd.

Michael Fong-Ross in the Under 21 event
Image courtesy of Murray Finch
In the opening rounds of the main draw Victor Ma continued on his run with a narrow 3-2 win over Jonathan Wang, while Michael Fong-Ross beat Mitchell Barker by the same margin. All other players had bye rounds into the quarterfinal stages.

Kevin Wu and Oliver Scarlett were the big casualties in the quaterfinals. Kevin lost 3-1 at the hands of Roger Rao, while Michael Fong-Ross carried on his fantastic form to beat Oliver and go through to the semifinals. Phillip Xiao won 3-0 over Victor Ma while Yuansen Yao managed to overcome Zhiyang Cheng after a solid fight from his opposition which lasted 4 sets.

In the semifinals Phillip continued to show consistent performance on attack winning in straight sets against Roger Rao. The match quality in the semifinals provided great entertainment, particularly Michael Fong-Ross'  match with Yuansen Yao. 3-1 was the end score for the higher seeded player but it was a tight and competitive match with some class action and well played points. Fong-Ross played some dazzling counterloops but in the end Yao's consistency and tight service awarded him the win and a finals showdown with Phillip Xiao.

Phillip Xiao wins Under 21 Mens Singles
Image courtesy of Murray Finch
In the final it was a case of passive vs. aggressive. Phillip Xiao continued to play confidently as he had during the whole event. Being the aggressor brought results and with Yao playing slightly passively, perhaps due to finals nerves, it was Xiao who took the early advantage. That advantage never faded and though Yao fought back to win one set it was Phillip all the way, committing to early openings off the service and following through with strong attacking shots. 

Congratulations to Phillip for an outstanding performance. He also claimed a gold medal with Si Zhuo Huo in the 21 mixed and a silver medal in the Under 21 Mens Doubles with Kevin Wu, that event was won by the combination of Yuansen Yao and Oliver Scarlett in a 4 set match.

Vicky Yang wins the Under 21 Womens Singles
Image Courtesy of Murray Finch
In the Under 21 women's event the only stranger to the draw from the original seedings was Nai Xin Jiang, her 3-1 win against Angel Huang secured her the 2nd qualifying position from the group. 

In the main draw Ruofei Rao won 3-1 against Natalie Paterson to advance into the semifinals while Si Zhuo Huo also won over Nai Xin Jiang in 4 sets. The semifinals saw Vicky Yang beat Ruofei in straight sets with relative comfort while Sara Hu closed out some very close sets against Grace Huo to win her match in 4 sets.

The final between Sara Hu and Vicky Yang was a quality match, Sara having the lead on a few occasions but failing to close out the sets as Vicky overpowered her opponent. The second set saw Sara take her most substantial lead but still Vicky clenched on to defend her 2011 title and win the final 3-0. A comfortable win for the top seed. Congratulations to Vicky on both her gold medal in the singles and in the Under 21 Women's Doubles with Si Zhuo Huo!

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