Li Xiaoxia on the Road to Recovery in Guangzhou
China’s Li Xiaoxia, the no.4 seed in the Women’s Singles event at the Evergrande Real Estate Asia Cup in Guangzhou, negotiated her opening encounter in the Women’s Singles event on Friday 26th February 2010 successfully but she was given a real scare by 16 year Yang Ha Eun of Korea.
Winner of the “Most Improved Player of the Year Award” presented by the Indian manufacturer Stag at the Volkswagen World Junior Championships in Cartagena de Indias in December 2009, she established a three games to one lead against the Chinese star before eventually experienced prevailed.
Li Xiaoxia increased the amount of rotation on the table tennis ball and directed her attacks towards the backhand of Yang Ha Eun in the early stages of the rallies to gain success.
A fine performance by Yang Ha Eun but Li Xiaoxia was below her best and there is a very good reason.
“It’s now 20 days since I came out of hospital after having had an operation on my appendix”, explained Li Xiaoxia. “I haven’t trained for two months and playing here today seemed very strange.”
The fact that she was able to recover was testament to her character and the technical skills that she had been taught in her formative years; the technique stood firm, reliable, the mistakes of the first four games disappeared as she strode to victory.
“Also I was playing a young player”, added Li Xiaoxia. “Perhaps she knew more about me than I knew about her, so I was not that well prepared for the match.”
A young player, Li Xiaoxia is arguably only just out of that category herself and in common with Yang Ha Eun, she played in the World Junior Championships when held in Latin America. Li Xiaoxia competed in the first ever World Junior Championships staged in the Chilean capital of Santiago in 2003.
“I’ve not really totally recovered from my operation, so I know here I might lose; sure I want to win the tournament but I have to be realistic”, added Li Xiaoxia. “It was a long match this morning; it was a big effort, now I’m really tired.
Success for Li Xiaoxia and also for her compatriots Liu Shiwen and Ding Ning, the no.1 and no.3 seeded players; the former beat Hong Kong’s Zhang Rui whilst the latter defeated Thailand’s Nanthana Komwong.
Also, there was success for the no.2 seed, Singapore’s Feng Tianwei defeated Japan’s Misako Wakamiya.