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Lily Zhang Fights into The Third Round of Rio Olympic Table Tennis

By Matt Hetherington | Aug. 06, 2016, 8:11 p.m. (ET)

Lily Zhang Table Tennis Olympics Rio 2016

Lily Zhang Finds Success in Round 2 of the Women's Singles in Rio!

Lily Zhang continues her fine form in Rio accelerating into the 3rd round of the main draw after another stella win over a higher ranked player. After beating Venezuela's Gremlis Arvelo, ranked 80th in the World, 14 places higher than Zhang's current 94th, the 20 year old American passed through to round 2 where she would face Shao Jieni of Portugal, ranked 54th in the world.

Lily was off to a great start, taking the ball out wide to the forehand of her left handed opponent before carrying it back across to the backhand line. She looked a little quicker in the rally and when given time she was able to play strong forehand attacks to finish the points. The first game fell a comfortable 11-4 in Lily's favor. 

Coming into the 2nd game her Portugese opponent stepped up her game and for the rest of the match it became a clutch battle. Lily trailed in the second but came flying back to win 11-9 in the final moments of the game. Again Lily took control in the crucial points playing with quick pace and decisive placement changes both backhand and forehand.

With a handy 2-0 lead Lily showed no sign of slowing down. Once again forced into a close combat situation for the 3rd game it was Zhang who came out on top, 11-9. The psychological advantage of a 3-0 lead and opportunities lost for Shao began to show as Lily Zhang surged home to take the 4th set 11-6 and take another straight sets win against a higher ranked opponent. 

“I felt like I had the advantage in the rallies,” said Zhang. “Beforehand, I knew how to play her since she’s a leftie and I had strategy before the match on how to play her. I felt very confident in being able to implement it during the match.”

Now streaming Wu Yue plays her 2nd round match against Mathilda Ekholm of Sweden check it out!

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