Former US Open Champions Eliminated in Men's Singles Event

By Matt Hetherington, USATT | Dec. 14, 2016, 11:06 p.m. (ET)

US Open

Former US Open Champions Eliminated in Men's Singles Event 

It was a day of intense matches as the Men's Singles Main Draw entered the crucial phases at the 2016 US Open Table Tennis Championships, starting in the morning with the Round of 32. While the top seeds started off strong it was the end of the road for a handful of former US Open Champs who were vying to repeat their success.

In his opening match of the tournament, 2009 and 2013 US Open Champion Thomas Keinath of Slovakia met his fate at the hands of defensive giant and former Chinese National Team member Hou Yingchao. The mighty defense of Hou proved too much for Keinath who struggled to find rhythm in the match. The Slovakian's approach proved less consistent early on as he tried to increase the power in his forehand, later opting to play more spin and control. Hou's game proved water tight and didn't give many options to find weakness. While onlookers had hoped for a closer battle it was a 4-0 exit for Keinath and Hou who moved into the next round.

Last year's titleholder and defending champ Wang Jinxin found himself bowing out in 5 games to Xing Hangwei from China, ending his chance of claiming a back to back crown.

2014 US Open Champion Tao Wenzhang also met his end one round later after defeating yesterday's star performer Nikhil Kumar, he came through and found himself losing in straight games to Japan's Yuki Hirano. The reverse serve of Hirano proving particularly difficult for Tao and superior backhand countering and control proving to be a decisive factor in the match.

Some of the outstanding results of the day included Kanak Jha's impressive 4-3 win over Kai Zhang who had yesterday won the Under 2700 event. Kanak had overcome a 2-1 deficit in his previous match against Daisuke Kitaguchi and won in 6 games. His match with Kai went the full distance and he managed to hold his nerve to claim the win and enter the quarterfinal stages.

Two defensive players remain in the draw with Wang Wei coming up against Kenji Matsudaira in tomorrow's quarterfinals and Hou Yingchao to face Yuki Hirano.

One of the impressive players of the day was Jin Takuya, the second seed of the event, currently ranked 119 in the world. The Japanese player showed amazing forehand form and sensational service game against defensive teammate Kantaro Miuchi, showing outstanding control and balanced power in his offense. He followed through to beat Li Bochao of NJTTC to advance through to tomorrow's quarterfinals.

Top seed Kenji Matsudaira has been smooth sailing and also ICC's Bob Chen advances through to tomorrow's draw.

Keep posted and up to date with the USATT Livestream for more incredible matches tomorrow!