Beiwen Zhang upsets #4 in the world at China Open

Sept. 21, 2018, 7:45 p.m. (ET)

Beiwen Zhang

Women’s singles #12 Beiwen Zhang upset #4 Ratchanok Intanon, of Thailand, in the opening round of the VICTOR China Open 2018. The tournament features many of the top players in the world, including the top eight women’s singles players. 

Zhang started the match slow. Game one was tied 3-3 early, but Intanon went on to score 16 of the next 19 points to lead 19-6. Intanon won the opening game 21-9.

Game two started on a similar route with an early 3-3 tie, but it was Zhang who took control. The American jumped out to a 9-4 lead with four straight points and wouldn’t trail for the rest of the game. Intanon rallied late, getting as close as two points, 17-15, but Zhang scored four of the final five points to win the game. 

The third and final game was a rollercoaster. Zhang led by as many as four points to begin the game, but  Intanon battled back and eventually took a brief 9-8 lead. Then it was Zhang’s turn to rally as she scored six of the next seven points and led 14-10. There was no quit in Intanon as the Thai quickly made up the deficit and tied the game once again at 14-14. But in the end, it was Zhang who had the energy at the end of the match as the American pressed her opponent and scored seven of the last nine points to win the game, 21-16, and match.

Prior to this match at the China Open, Zhang had been 0-3 against Intanon, who has been ranked in the top-10 in the world since June 2012.

Zhang went on to fall in a tight match in the round of 16 to Indonesian Gregoria Mariska Tunjung, 23-21, 22-20.

The VICTOR China Open 2018 is a HSBC BWF World Tour Super 1000 event, played at the Olympic Sports Center Xincheng Gymnasium in Changzhou, Jiangsu, China.