Exciting Upsets in Junior U18 and Open Singles Event at 2014 Butterfly Badger Open
Amazing play, close matches and astounding upsets filled the first day of action at the 2014 Butterfly Badger Open. 11 events took to the tables, with the Open and Junior events attracting the most spectators. Top seeds fell, and other rose to the occasion as the players battled it out for championship titles and thousands of dollars.
The highlight of the morning was the semi-final match of the Junior U18 event which pitted two top Midwest juniors against each other. Wisconsinite Peter Yang (2153) had home town support but Michael Tran (2333) from Minnesota had recently claimed gold in the team and silver in the individual events at the 2014 ITTF World Hopes Challenge in Slovenia. The two played close points, but Peter ran away with an early 2-0 lead in the best of five match. Always a fighter, Michael came back to tie the match at 2-2 and 10-10. In the end, Peter was able to pull out a nail biting 19-17 win in the fifth over Michael and moved on to the finals against Alex Legaria (2395). Peter never found his rhythm in the final, and Alex pulled out a clean 3-1 win to take home the Junior U18 title.
In the afternoon, players battled it out in impressive style in best of seven matches for the $1,800 top prize in Open Singles. In the round of 16, Spenser Lam (2219) upset Michael Tran (2333) 4-2 and Micaiah Skolnick (2315) upset his older brother Gabriel Skolnick (2334) 4-1. However, the match of the round was Jaroslaw Osmialowski (2261) against Alex Legaria (2395), with Alex barely pulling out a win 11-8 in the seventh. In the quarter finals, Wojciech Wolski (2358) caused a small upset by beating Alex Legaria (2395) in a crowd pleasing 5 games. In the same round, second seeded Wei Qi (2496) barely pulled out a 4-3 win over Felipe Morita (2323) from Lindenwood University. Winning 4-3 would become a pattern for the eventual 2014 Butterfly Badger Open champion, as he also posted 4-3 wins over Wojciech Wolski (2358) in the semifinal and Danny Seemiller (2458) in the final. During the final, Qi had trouble with Seemiller’s serve but was stronger in the rallies. Qi also took home the Open Doubles championship title with teammate and student Michael Tran over Danny Seemiller and Wojciech Wolski, making him a double winner for the 2014 Butterfly Badger Open.
To relive the first day of action please visit www.butterflyonline.com for recorded matches, photos and updates.
Continual coverage of the 2014 Butterfly Badger Open and stories about the athletes will be available at butterflyonline.com, or via Butterfly North America’s twitter and facebook pages.