2015 U.S Open Cadet Boys’ Single Champion Zirui Zhao
The 2015 U.S Open Table Tennis Championships (Full name: GAC Group 2015 ITTF World Tour, US Open, Americas Challenge Series), was held in Las Vegas from July 6th to July 11th. The tournament totals for over 30 countries with over 1000 athletes coming from the United States, China, Japan, Korea, Germany, Colombia, Croatia, India, Mexico, Russia, Sweden, etc., participated in a total of 75 events! Because there are so many events and so many players, the level of difficulty is extremely high, and a majority of the participants are at a close clutching level, with lots of high-leveled pros finished the tournament without any good results! Imagine how hard this excitement-filled U.S Open was! Overcoming days of obstacle-filled matches to play, a boy named Zirui Zhao had excelled through the tournament. His hard fought achievements include: Under 21 Men’s Singles Semi-Finalist, Junior Boys’ Teams Champion, and Cadet Boy’s Single Champion!!. In his finals match for the Cadet Singles, he encountered for USA’s highest level number one Cadet Kanak Jha in a 3-0 trail! As this was only his first ITTF (International Table Tennis Federation) event, he had achieved so much and even earning himself a comfortable spot at world number 9 for the 15 year old age group, shocking the table tennis world!
In the history of the years and years of the U.S Open’s establishments, many famous table tennis players from around the world have been attracted to this Event. The 2000 Olympics table tennis champion Chen Jin and World Ranked number two Li Tao have even participated in the past U.S Open Tournaments. Other Famous table tennis legends like Jan Ove Waldner, Jorgen Persson, Werner Schlager, Ryu Seung Min, Joo Se Hyuk, Chuang Chih Yuan, Zhang Yining, Li Jiawei, Wang Chen, etc. have also participated in the past years of U.S Open History. U.S Open is an ITTF sanctioned tournament, where the players’ performance will determine their world ranking which can affect their World Cup, World Championships, or even their Olympic Games seeding. Zirui Zhao is a 15 year old young recognized player who came from China. He started his table tennis dream when he was only 6 years old, first learning from the same coach as World Champion Ma Long, Guan Huaan. He started to play all around the country from 2010, where he has won many Chinese Cadet or Youth National Cups! In 2011, he was sent from his beginning school of Weihai and chosen to represent and train in the Shandong Provincial Team. That same year, he won the Men’s Shandong province team event and the Doubles event. He also won the Great 8 Grand Slam Cup for all of China’s Cadets, both singles and team events. This tournament is one of the biggest for youth players in the entire country. In this tournament, he has beaten the player who is now known as the best cadet player in China, Chuqin Wang. Zirui was then recognized as China’s second highest level of players, becoming 2011’s top Chinese youth star. In 2012, he represented Weihai city team to easily overcome team Qingdao 3-1, winning the Shandong province Championships for the A Division. Because of all of his achievements, he was selected to participate in the Chinese C and B leagues, and was one of the best youths in these leagues. He was eventually selected for the top 10 youths to be able to train in the Chinese National Team training camps.
In 2014, Zirui Zhao came to the United States and participated in a series of 4 and 5 star high leveled tournaments. Some achievements include: 2014 JOOLA North American Teams Championships Under 18 Champion, 2015 U.S Open Under 21 Men’s singles semi-finalist, Under 18 boys’ team Champion, and Under 15 boys’ singles champion, 2015 October 4th San Diego Open – Neil Smyth Memorial Table Tennis Tournament Open singles 3rd place, Open doubles Champion, and Under 2650 Champion.