Palo Alto's Zhang wins third national table tennis title


Palo Alto grad Lily Zhang won a pair of titles at the U.S. National Championships in Las Vegas over the weekend.

In the Under 21 Youth Singles, Zhang won in straight games over Crystal Wang. 

In the women's singles final, Zhang and doubles partner Jiaqi Zheng fought through six matches to decide the outcome.

Momentum began in Zhang's favor as both players fought in deuce for the first game. Zhang called time as she held advantage 11-10, signifying the importance of taking the early lead. She managed to pull through and close out the set 14-12.

Jiaqi struggled to find her ground as the lead extended with Lily Zhang hitting out with wide angles and quick forehand counters.

Winning games two and three 11-8 and 11-7 to take a convincing 3-0 lead, it looked like Lily was on the home stretch but Zheng lifted herself back into the game.

Positioning for more forehands and applying better placement and pressure on the backhand she was able to win 11-9 in the 4th game and 11-5 in the 5th game.

Zhang won the sixth match, 11-6, and lifted the US National Women's Singles Championship trophy for the third time in her career.

In the semifinals, Zhang upset top seed Wang Chen in five sets showing great resolve and speed in the rallies while Zheng dropped one game on her way to hitting through defensive player Angela Guan.

Zhang's attempt at a third crown was denied as she and mixed doubles partner Tim Wang were defeated by Yijun Feng and Jiaqi Zheng.  

A player to impress early on in the tournament was Nikhil Kumar, 13 years old from ICC, who pushed Timothy Wang to 7 games in the Men's Singles. His efforts were rewarded as he found success in both the mini cadet and cadet boys singles events.

— USA Table Tennis

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