December 21, 2019

US Open Finals Review: 88 Events to Close 2019

(by Steve Hopkins/Photo by Bay Area Table Tennis Federation)

The 2019 Seamaster US Open is drawing to a close in Fort Worth, Texas.  The tournament featured 88 events with both singles and doubles, junior and senior events, and age events starting with Minicadet going all the way up to Over 80.

The featured Open events this year were dominated by a strong Japanese contingent. All finalists in the five open events (Men’s Singles, Women’s Singles, Men’s Doubles, Women’s Doubles, Mixed Doubles) were Japanese with one exception – USA’s Lily Zhang dominated the Women’s Singles Event and won her first US Open title.

Miuchi won the Men’s Singles event handily over teammate Taira.  Miuchi is a defensive player in a sport dominated by offensive play.  In fact, two defensive players advanced to the Semifinals in Men’s Singles – and Miuchi outlasted Liu Yi in a battle of choppers on his way to the Finals (and on his way to the US Open title).

Across the other events, there are many well-known names who finished on top in their events.  Jimmy Butler won the Sandpaper event, took third in the Liha event, was second place in 40 & Over Doubles, and a semifinalist in 40 & Over Singles.  Patty Martinez won five events: 60 & Over Women, 40 & Over Women’s Doubles, 55 & Over Women’s Doubles, 55 & Over Mixed Doubles, and 65 & Over Women’s Singles.  Dan Seemiller won 55 & Over Mixed Doubles, Bowie Martin Sr won 80 & Over, David Sakai won 70 & Over, Donna Sakai won 55 & Over Women’s Doubles.  Tahl Leibovitz took first in Para 9-11 and Para Doubles 6-11, and also made the Semifinals in 40 & Over and qualified for the Main Draw in the Open.

Other titles of note: Junior Boys title was won by Chen Ce Wang, Junior Girls was won by Sophie Gauthier, Puerto Rico’s Angel Naranjo won Cadet Boys’ Singles, Cadet Girls was won by Anastasia Wang, Minicadet Boys was won by Jenson Feng, and the Minicadet Girls title went to Nicole Deng.

For the elite events at this US Open, it was Japanese players at the top of nearly category.  However, the story that will be remembered this year is Lily Zhang’s dominant performance in Women’s Singles.  At the end of this night in Fort Worth, it was one of America’s favorite team members holding the US Open trophy.

A full listing of winners can be found at the USATT site.

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