Lily Zhang sets history at the 2009 Canadian Junior Open!
Lily Zhang from the United States of America won the Girls Singles title at the Stag Canadian Junior Open in Laval on Sunday 23rd August 2009 and in so doing became the youngest ever player to win a singles crown on the ITTF Junior Circuit.
Aged 13 years and 68 days, the American beat the previous record by 94 days; that was held by Chinas Xu Ke. He won the Boys Singles crown at the Taiyuan Junior Open on Sunday 30th August 2005 aged 13 years and 162 days.
Furthermore, it was the youngest singles final ever witnessed on the ITTF Junior Circuit.
Natalie Sun also from the United States, the eventual runner up is also only 13 years old.
Three Thirteen Year Olds
In fact of the four semi-finalists in the Girls Singles competition, three were 13 years old, the one other in her first year as a teenager was Ariel Hsing, also from the United States.
Canadas Carmen Li, the victim of Lily Zhang at the penultimate stage was a veritable pensioner at the age of 18 years!
Roads to Final
At the quarter-final stage, Lily Zhang, seeded no.3, received a walk-over against the Dominican Republics Eva Brito before recording a five games semi-final win over Carmen Li (4-11, 11-2, 11-6, 12-10, 11-6) and a six games final victory over Natalie Sun (6-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-5, 9-11, 11-6).
Meanwhile, Natalie Sun was the player to upset the seeding.
She beat Brazils fourth seeded Caroline Kumuhara in the quarter-finals (5-11, 11-9, 11-8, 8-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-7) before recording a semi-final success against top seed Ariel Hsing (16-14, 11-3, 5-11, 8-11, 7-11, 11-9, 14-12).
Lily Zhang, who plays the quick, flat-hitting style of most Asian players, was too fast for her opponent; Natalie Sun was impressive all weekend; she can rival most junior girls in speed and can also loop from mid-distance, said Michael-Tai Nguyen, the Press Officer at the Stag Canadian Junior Open. However, it was not enough; Lily Zhang won thus took the Stag Canadian Open Junior crown down south to her home in Palo Alto, California.
Junior Girls Doubles
Success for the United States in the Girls Singles event and also in the Girls Doubles where Sylvan Guo and Erica Wu secured a five games win against the Canadians Carmen Lee and Shannon Zheng.
Sylvan Guo and Erica Wu won 11-8, 9-11, 11-7, 11-8.
Last Letter, First Place
Nevertheless the day belonged to Lily Zhang whilst in the counterpart male event it was success for Jan Zibrat of Slovenia; their family names begin with the last letter of the alphabet but in Laval they were first.
Furthermore, have both the Boys Singles and Girls Singles event on the ITTF Junior Circuit ever been won by two players whose family name begins with the letter `Z?
In addition to her winning the girls singles title, she also teamed up with Ariel Hsing to win the Cadet Girls’ Doubles and also placed second in the cadet Girls’ Singles! Congratulations Lily!