FIRST FEMALE CHAMPION AT THE WESTCHESTER OPENBy Will ShortzThe July Westchester Table Tennis Open this past weekend (July 27-28) was remarkable for several things:• A record number of players (192)• Six players rated over 2600• A milestone in prize money — including this month’s $6,000, the Westchester Open has awarded more than half a million dollars since the tournament started in 2011• The first female championThat female champion, Juan Liu, was no surprise. Rated 2617, she has won both the U.S. Open (twice — 2012 and 2018) and the U.S. Nationals (2018). Born and raised in China, she competed internationally for many years, achieving an ITTF world ranking of 128 in 2010. She moved to the U.S. in 2011 and became a U.S. citizen in 2016. She now trains at the New York Indoor Sports Club in College Point, Queens, N.Y.Juan coolly dispatched seven opponents on her way to winning the July tournament, including Mishel Levinski (2480) in straight games (4,5,6); Gal Alguetti (2548) in four games (-3,6,7,9); and Spain’s Zhiwen He (2673) in a barnburner five-game set (-8,6,10,-8,7).The final match, against the tournament’s #1 seed, Jiwei Xu (2701), can be watched here.
Other links:• July spectator’s program — spotlighting Jishan Liang• Westchester Open statistics — full list of winners, runners-up, and other data (October 2011 – July 2019)The August Westchester Open, with another $6,000 in prizes, will be held August 24-25.