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2020 US Olympic Trials - Women's Qualifier

By Larry Hodges | Feb. 27, 2020, 8:44 p.m. (ET)


Kylie Lam won the Women's Qualifier. Photo by Bruce Liu. 

The Women's Qualifier RR had four players, with only the top finisher advancing to Stage Two, the Final Sixteen. The four were Kayleigh Cui (2102), Kylie Lam (2099), Kayla Goodwin (2065), and Sreenidhi Saravanan (1730). Yes, the top three seeds were Kayleigh-Kylie-Kayla, and so I will use last names only. But one of the K-girls wouldn't finish in the top three - though what really mattered was coming in #1 and advancing.

In the first round, Goodwin won the first two games against defensive chopper Cui - but as often happens, the chopper gets better as the match goes on. (Cui was defensive, but could be aggressive with her long-pips pushes.) Cui wins the next three games. At 9-all in the sixth, Goodwin pushes both serves into the net, and so Cui wins, -10,-4,7,8,7,9. Lam won against Saravanan, 8,-9,6,3,7. In the second round, it's Cui over Saravanan, 7,6,7,9, while Lam wins a marathon with Goodwin, 8,10,-6,-10,-8,7,8. With two losses, Goodwin and Saravanan are out. In the third round, it's Saravanan over Goodwin in another marathon, 7,9,-4,-5,-7,10,9.

So the final match in the second round is to see who will advance is between the top two seeds, Cui and Lam, chopper versus very patient attacker, both righties. Cui wins the first two games, but predictably, this match also goes seven games. In the seventh, Cui takes a 5-2 lead, then it's 6-all. Cui takes a timeout. Until now she's been very defensive, but now she starts playing aggressive. She misses a forehand (6-7) and makes a forehand (7-7). At 8-all she misses a forehand (8-9) and makes a forehand (9-9). Lam wins the next point to go up 10-9 match point - and then, after a long rally, Cui whiffs on a forehand loop, and it's match and advancing to Kylie Lam, -6,-9,9,5,7,-3,9.

Here are the results, and if you page down, the Women's Qualifier Groups.