Feng Yijun, 3 wins - 1 loss, and in contention. Photo by David Zhang.
On Saturday night they played the seventh and final round of Stage One. The top four players from both groups qualified for Stage Two, with the matches among them carried over. (This meant that matches among those advancing counted, even if a player had clinched advancing.) They then played the first round of Stage Two. Here are the Results - page down to get to Stage Two.
Three players defaulted out this round - Hao Donglong (knee injury), Michael Landers (unknown injury), and Kunal Chodri (unknown reason). Hao was actually still in contention - his last match would have been with Sharon Alguetti, and if he'd won, he and Sharon would both have been 3-4, tied for fourth - and Hao would have advanced, since he won head-to-head.
Group One - Final Round
The big matchup here was Zhou Xin (2730), 6-0, against Kai Zhang (2642), 5-1. Zhou has been unbeatable so far - and the trend continued as he won his seventh consecutive 4-0 match, now 28-0 in games as he won, 6,8,8,8. How does he do it? He's a two-winged looper, but plays more of a controlling topspin game. Opponent may go for shots, but Zhou rarely gives them an easy shot, and within a shot or two in most rallies, Zhou is controlling the rally. The scores don't tell the whole story here - in game three, Kai led 7-1. From there on, Zhou went on an attacking rampage, scoring seven in a row and winning that game 11-8.
So Zhou advanced with a 7-0 record. Dan Liu and Kai Zhang both finished at 5-2, but since Dan won head-to-head, he came in second. Advancing in fourth was Jishan Liang at 4-3.
Group Two - Final Round
The big matchup here was Nikhil Kumar (2692) with a 6-0 record, against Nicholas Tio (2592), with a 5-1 record. The play was spectacular with some great shot-making, but in general the lefty Nikhil seemed able to control play more as he won, 5,7,6,-7,8.
So Nikhil advanced with a 7-0 record, 28-4 in games. Coming in second was Yijun "Tom" Feng (2640) at 6-1. Third was Nicholas Tio, 5-2, and fourth was Sharon Alguetti, 4-2.
Stage Two - Round One
Eight players qualified for Group One, with the first round played Saturday night. All four first round matches were 4-1. The big news - Zhou Xin, after winning his first 31 games, finally lost a game in his win over Sharon Alguetti, 4,8,6,-7,5.
Nikhil Kumar defeated Jishan Liang, 8,8,13,-11,4. Jishan had a 12-11 game point in game three, and Nikhil had a 10-9 match point in game four.
Nicholas Tio defeated Dan Liu, 7,8,5,-5,8, and Tom Feng defeated Kai Zhang, 9,-8,9,5,4 in a battle of rips.
After Round One, but with three carry-over matches, the current standings are:
Zhou Xin (2730, CA), 4-0
Nikhil Kumar (2692, CA), 4-0
Yijun "Tom" Feng (2640, NY), 3-1
Nicholas Tio (2592, CA), 2-2
Dan Liu (2574, CA), 2-2
Kai Zhang (2642, NY), 1-3
Jishan Liang (2668, NC), 0-4
Sharon Alguetti (2658, NJ), 0-4
The final three rounds of stage 2 are Sunday at 10:45am, 12:15pm and 3:15pm. The awards ceremony is scheduled for 4:00pm