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Like Old Times at the Westchester July Open

by Will Shortz

[Photo: Jishan Liang facing Kai Zhang]

Like Old Times at the Westchester July Open

 

It felt like old times this past weekend at the July Westchester Open -- Kai Zhang versus Jishan Liang in the final of the open event. Out of Westchester's 106 monthly tournaments since 2011, Kai has now been in the final 40 times, Jishan 15 times. This is the fifth time, in fact, that the two have met in the final themselves. And after all these years they're still pretty evenly matched -- Kai rated 2649, Jishan 2659.

 

The outcome this time was probably due to training. Kai had an internship with Amazon this summer and hasn't been playing much. Jishan, in contrast, has been coaching and training at Ssmson Dubina's Table Tennis Academy in Ohio. At small, critical points in this month's match, Jishan was more consistent, winning (8,6,-4,9) and taking home the $2,000 prize. (Kai still has the historic edge, though -- 3 wins to 2.)

 

The full match can be seen on YouTube.

 

In other events, 13-year-old Aditya Sareen, of the Lily Yip Table Tennis Center in New Jersey, defeated Sushant Lebaka in the U2500 final. Coach Yuxiang Li beat Igor Shulkin to take honors in the U2350.

 

Even the tournament's attendance this month felt like old times. There were 158 players, just shy of the tournament's average for 2019.

 

The next Westchester Open will take place August 28-29. Westchester's new Two-Person Teams Championships, with $14,000 in prizes, will take place on Labor Day weekend, September 4-6.

Westchester Table Tennis Center

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