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Evergrande Asian Cup Men’s Singles Crown Won in Fluent Style

Tuesday 30 March

Evergrande Asian Cup Men’s Singles Crown Won in Fluent Style

China’s 22 year old Zhang Jike, who has threatened on the ITTF Pro Tour to win individual gold but has not as yet succeeded, signalled in Guangzhou on Sunday 28th March 2010, that the day will come sooner rather than later.

 

Executing his smooth well balanced style to near perfection, he beat Singapore’s Gao Ning, in four straight games, in the final of the Men’s Singles event at the Evergrande Real Estate Asian cup in Guangzhou.

 

In so doing he secured the most prestigious title of his career to date.

 

Zhang Jike won 11-9, 11-3, 11-6, 11-7.

 

Quicker to Attack

Zhang Jike, the quicker to attack giving Gao Ning only minimal time to respond, captured the first game; consistently he directed his first attacking strokes towards the backhand of Gao Ning.

 

However, against the ultra reliable Gao Ning he did make mistakes as he tried to seize the initiative; eventually, his great skill from the backhand over the table determining the final point.

 

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Nerves settled, the first game over, often the most difficult; Zhang Jike sped into a 6-0 lead in the second game.

 

He was setting the pace of the play, there was in a rhythm to his play, the beat of the drum was too fast for Gao Ning

 

He walked back to the surrounds to receive advice for former Olympic and World champion, Liu Guoliang, the Chinese Men’s National Team Head Coach and duly continued to set the pace in the contest.

 

Backhand Effective

The backhand of Zhang Jike was very effective, executed from half distance or close to the table; he maintained the pressure on his opponent.

 

Watching Zhang Jike play he is to some extent the next generation in the Wang Liqin style of play; in Shanghai at the Volkswagen 48th World Championships when Wang Liqin regained his Men’s Singles title, he virtually only played one backhand before moving round to execute a devastating forehand.

 

Conversely, Zhang Jike is prepared to hold his ground and continue playing his fluent backhand.

 

In the third game he did just that and smoothly progressed into a three games to nil lead.

 

No Hiding Place

There was nowhere for Gao Ning to hide; he gave his best but he was under pressure he made mistakes.

 

It was just a matter of time before the axe of the executioner fell, it duly fell; it fell on the neck of Gao Ning.

 

Zhang Jike was the champion.

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