Saturday, 13 October 2012

World Class Newcomer Claims Women's Title

Throughout the team event one player had dominated the women's field. New to the Canterbury team, having moved the Christchurch from Serbia, Timea Tapai has formerly been among the best in Europe, ranked in the top 300 in the world and had only dropped 2 sets during the team event.

Sophie Shu back in the Mix
Image courtesy of Murray Finch
With Chunli's withdrawal from the event, Michelle McCarthy paved her way into the top spot with a 3-1 win over Sophie Shu. With both players beating Zhiying Cheng, Sophie qualified 2nd from the group. Kadia Keller-Rice made it through 2nd on a countback after losing her match narrowly to Armindeep Singh, but Armindeep's loss to Ola Ratka made the outcome far less favourable for her, finishing 3rd in the group. Jessica Macaskill qualified over Si Zhuo Huo in her group after beating Grace in straight sets.

The round of 16 saw Kadia Keller-Rice end Michelle McCarthy's run in a very tight and exciting 7 set showdown, long rallies and desperation emerged as both players gave it their all with Keller-Rice ending it 14-12 in the final set. In the other round of 16 match Catherine Zhou won in 6 sets over Ruofei Rao, some tense moments in the match but Catherine steadied to take the win.

Kadia's next match put her face to face against Timea, whose chopping appeared to be almost unliftable by any form of topspin, with no real plan of how to return the heavy chop and many variations it was inevitable for Timea to emerge the winner in 4 sets. Sarah Her-Lee also won in straight sets over former Waikato and NZ teammate Jessica Macaskill. Sara Hu moved into the next round with a 4-1 win over Sophie Shu, with Shu having chances to go take a second set towards the end. Vicky Yang left nothing to chance with a 4-0 win over Catherine Zhou.

The Women's Singles Podium
Image Courtesy of Murray Finch
Timea showed her dominance against Sarah Her-Lee in the semifinal with a 4-0 win, no set scoring higher than 7. The heavy backspin proved to be a huge problem even with Sarah's overseas experience over the last year and Timea took the match 4-0. Vicky Yang joined her in the final, winning her match against Sara Hu also by 4-0.

Having won a set against her in the teams, Vicky Yang was out to avenge her narrow loss to Jenny Hung in last year's national championships. Making an effort to vary the speed and spin of her attacks seemed to be an idea, but Timea adjusted accordingly and Vicky found frustration setting in as she struggled to form tactics and win the necessary points. Timea chopped consistently both close and far from the table and also threw in the odd backhand punch to end points early. Congratulations Timea! :)

7 comments:

  1. When was Timea in the top 160 in the world?

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    1. She wasn't. Poor information source! Now that I have checked I note she peaked around the mid to early 200s in the world. Thanks for the comment :)

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  2. Actually she peaked at a ranking of 266 in October 2003.

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  3. Yea I got that, as above. Mid to late 200s

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  4. Mid to late 260's... 8>)

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    1. If I didn't know any better I would say anonymous should in fact say Adam :P

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