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ARE MORE TOP PLAYERS NOW IN THEIR TEENS?

By Will Shortz | Aug. 31, 2021, 10:43 p.m. (ET)

Jayden Zhou (right), 16, versus Jishan Liang in the final of the August Westchester Open

Jayden Zhou (right), 16, versus Jishan Liang in the final of the August Westchester Open

Is it my imagination, or are there more top players now under 20?

 

At the August Westchester Open this past weekend, 15 players who competed in the playoffs of the Open, U2500, U2350 and/or U2200 events were in their teens or preteens.

 

The winner of the open, as expected, was Jishan Liang, who came in with the top rating (2675). In the final, though, for the first time, was 16-year-old Jayden Zhou (2544), of Short Hills, N.J. He’s a two-fisted attacker who plays aggressively and loves to counterloop. Jishan was too powerful and consistent for Jayden and won in three games. Still Jayden’s performance was impressive. Very fun to watch. A video of the match is available on YouTube.

 

Other up-and-coming young players who reached the playoffs in one or more of the top four rated events:
• Santiago Acosta, 18
• Kelly Liang, 18
• Nicholas Kui, 15
• Sean Chen, 15 — quarterfinalist in the open and U2500
• Darius Fahimi, 15 — quarterfinalist in the open, and semifinalist in the U2500
• Connor Lee, 15
• Adrian Yang, 15
• Ainish Dassarma, 14 — quarterfinalist in the U2500
• Alyssa Kang, 14
• Daria Fahimi, 13
• Aryan Jha, 13 — semifinalist in the U2500
• Aditya Sareen, 13— finalist in the U2500
• Jacob Lee, 12
• Amoolya Menon, 12

 

I don’t remember there ever being so much young talent at the tournament before.

 

The tournament, by the way, had 163 players— the most since the pandemic started. Things are returning to normal.

 

The next Westchester tournament is this weekend’s (Sept. 4-6) Two-Person Teams Championships, with $14,000 in prizes. The next regular Westchester Open will be Sept. 25-26.

Will Shortz

Westchester Table Tennis Center