ITALIAN JUNIOR AND CADET OPEN
Sunday 24th March
Chen Yi, five titles, unbeaten throughout
Crowned junior girls’ singles champion earlier in the week at the 2019 Italian Junior and Cadet Open in Lignano, Chen Yi repeated the feat on the closing day of play, Sunday 24th March; she reserved the top step of the cadet girls’ singles podium.
Moreover, she departed the shores of the Adriatic with a full house of titles; in every event for which was eligible she remained unbeaten; the only player in the whole tournament to achieve the feat.
In addition to the junior girls’ singles and cadet girls’ singles victories, she partnered Wang Tianyi to junior girls’ doubles success, before joining Kuai Man to clinch both the cadet girls’ team and cadet girls’ doubles titles.
It is the name of Kuai Man that is significant; Kuai Man is presently listed in top spot on the under 15 girls’ world rankings, Chen Yi is next in line. Furthermore, last August at the 2018 Asian Championships in Myanmar, Kuai Man beat Chen Yi in the cadet girls’ singles final; in Lignano Chen Yi reversed the decision.
After securing doubles success against Romania’s Ioanna Singeorzan and Elena Zaharia (11-3, 11-4, 11-7), Chen Yi beat Kuai Man in four games to don the cadet girls’ singles crown (4-11, 12-10, 11-1, 11-5). Earlier at the quarter-final stage Chen Yi had beaten Singapore’s Zhou Yingyi (11-6, 11-5, 11-7), followed by success against Elena Zaharia (11-7, 11-13, 11-7, 11-8); in the same rounds Kuai Man had accounted for Anna Hursey of Wales (11-4, 11-6, 11-9) and Rachel Sung from the United States (11-4, 11-8, 11-7).
Success for China in the cadet girls’ singles and cadet girls’ doubles events; it was the same in the counterpart cadet boys’ singles and cadet boys’ doubles competitions. It was honours shared, Chen Yuanyu and Huang Youcheng combined to secure doubles success at the expense of Frenchmen Felix Lebrun and Huang Youcheng (11-7, 11-9, 11-9); Lin Shidong won the cadet boys’ singles title.
At the final hurdle he beat Belgium’s Louis Liffineur (11-3, 11-4, 11-9), having at the quarter-final stage ousted Singapore’s Isaac Quek Yong (11-4, 11-9, 11-9) and in the penultimate round colleague Huang Youzheng (11-7, 11-8, 9-11, 11-8). In the opposite half of the draw, in the later rounds, Louis Liffineur had accounted for Frenchman Hugo Deshamps (4-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-7, 13-11) and Chen Yuanyu (11-9, 4-11, 7-11, 13-11, 11-6) to thus prevent an all Chinese final.