Jennifer (Yue) Wu was looking for the top spot on the podium today as we headed into Day 2 of the 2017 US National Team Trials. For Wu this occasion was special as it was her first chance to be eligible to represent the USA at the World Table Tennis Championships, she had her sights very firmly set on that goal.
With Lily Zhang already through on Day 1 and waiting in the National Team, could her Rio Olympic teammate Jennifer join her in the ranks?
She started out in stellar form, putting any doubts to rest with a 4-0 win over Grace Yang in the quarterfinal stages. Just one day earlier she had found herself down 3-2 against the same player and had fought her way to a seven set victory, this decisive result was a sign of a fresh focus on the second day. A slight tip in her favor saw the top seed of the Day 2 draw, Wang Chen, withdraw with a knee injury during her quarterfinal match against Rachel Sung.
One player who looked to be building some impressive form was Angela Guan who very patiently and steadily worked away at Amy Wang in her quarterfinal encounter. After taking a 3-0 lead it was Wang who very patiently looped and pushed her way back into the game, winning the next two games, but it would be Guan who would seal the deal and win in the 6th to advance to the final.
In the final she would face Jennifer Wu who, after narrowly losing game one, had found her rhythm and landed in her element against Crystal Wang. A 4-1 win and she was into the final and looking in great form.
The final started off as a show of dominant positioning by Wu as she showed a solid level of prowess against the defensive long pip chopping of Angela Guan. Forcing Angela to look for ways to attack or disrupt the rhythm it was Wu who took the early advantage and a 2-0 lead. A strong effort in the 3rd and some more offensive plays from Angela saw her take the game and push her way back into the match. At this point Angela's defensive game was stepping up in consistency, the rallies were drastically increasing in length and the number of errors by both players was rapidly diminishing. As the points grew longer and longer it came down to lucky breaks in the form of net balls to close out some points and fatigue started to play a factor as Wu tried in vain to power through Angela on some easier looking balls.
Wu managed to regain control in the 5th game and again there were more outstanding rallies as neither player showed any sign of backing down. A big credit to both players who showed a great amount of patience, calculation and composure during the match, though it would be Wu who pulled away to the finish line. 11-6 the game fell and Jennifer (Yue) Wu would claim a spot on the US National Women's Team to compete in her first World Table Tennis Championships in Dusseldorf, Germany at the end of May.
Congratulations Jennifer, see the video of the semi and final below along with the completed Women's Singles Draw.
2017 US National Team Trials Day 2 - Semifinals and Finals Session
Day 2 Completed Women's Singles Draw