Top Players Reach Final Rounds of Feature Events on First Day of 2014 Butterfly Los Angeles Open
The first day of the 2014 Butterfly Los Angeles Open started with rating and age events, before play was stopped for a brief opening ceremony and rousing live performance of the national anthem. Volunteers fluttered around the courts, assuring spectators and players alike that this would be the table tennis event of the year for the southern California area. Play continued into the late evening with the feature events reaching their final rounds.
In the highly anticipated Open Singles event, headliner Chih-Yuan Chuang (WR #7 2836) had no problem advancing to Sunday’s quarter-final round. However, there were a few surprise exits including both the 3rd and 4th seeds Wenzhang Tao (2773) and Bob Chen (2735). Wenzhang Tao, 2014 US Open Champion fell to an adrenaline filled Timothy Wang (2622) 1-3 in the 8ths, while Bob Chen (2735) lost to a red hot Rui Wang (2460) 0-3 in the same round. Rui Wang went on to win the U2500 event over Tung Pham (2417).
In the Open Doubles event, matches went as seeded until the semi-finals where two ICC teams caused upsets to reach the final. The ICC team of Timothy Wang and Zihong Huang (5217) took out second seeded Jeff Huang and Tao Wenzhang (5325), while Yonghui Liang and Dan Liu (5265) defeated Xiang Jing Zhang and Seung Hwan Kim (5366). The all ICC Open Doubles final will be played at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday.
American fan favorite Jim Butler took home two titles on Saturday, winning both the Over 40 and U4200 Doubles events. Shupeng Geng (2662), the top seed in the U18, took home the title with a nail biting 11-9 in the fifth win over Rui Wang (2460).
Play continues on Sunday with the Women’s Singles, U2050, U2250, U1900 and the conclusion of the Open Singles and Open Doubles events.
Continual coverage of the 2014 Butterfly Los Angeles Open and stories about the athletes will be available at butterflyonline.com, or via Butterfly North America’s twitter and facebook pages.