Table Tennis by Lily Yip
1992 & 1996 US Olympian

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2010 Italian Junior & Cadet Open, Lignano, Italy, March 25-28, 2010
                                                             by US Junior Team Coach, Lily Yip

                                                                              From left to right:  Natalie Sun, Coach Lily Yip and Ariel Hsing


This tournament in the junior and cadet categories featured singles, doubles, and team events in the Italian tradition of excellence. Besides the beautiful scenery and sunny skies, the Italian TTA offered $8,000 in prize money. It was also the third international event to give players, one boy and one girl, a chance to qualify for the Youth Olympic Games inSingapore.


Our USA players consisted of Cadet Girls, Ariel Hsing and Natalie Sun, Cadet Boy, Alexander Shin Yao, and Junior Boy, Peter Li. This small but mighty team demonstrated great team spirit and mutual respect, producing one of the best tournament results of the past decade. It was gratifying as their coach to see them blossoming into international competitors and gaining much needed international experience. 


Starting with the Girls events, Ariel and Natalie played extremely well throughout the tournament. Ariel Hsing and Natalie Sun finished 2nd in the Cadet Girl’s Team Event losing to Romania A. It was an exciting all-USA Final in the Cadet Girls Singles, and in the Cadet Girls Doubles they won 3-1 over a talented Romanian team. 


Results of Cadet Girls Team Event:

Qualifier Round- USA defeated Slovakia A  3-0 (Ariel Hsing (USA) defeated Dominika Vizinova (SVK) 3-0: (11-4,11-3,11-6) ; Natalie Sun (USA) defeated Lucia Truksova (SVK) 3-2: (10-12, 11-3,11-7,4-11,11-3); in Doubles, Ariel Hsing/Natalie Sun (USA) defeated Lucia Truksova/Dominika Vizinova (SVK) 3-2: (9-11,11-5, 6-11, 11-6,11-9)

USA defeated Italy B  3-0 (Ariel Hsing (USA) defeated Michela Albertinelli (ITA) 3-0: (11-6, 11-3, 11-7); Natalie Sun (USA) defeated Francesca Trotti (ITA) 3-0: (11-1, 11-8, 11-3); in Doubles, Ariel Hsing/Natalie Sun (USA) defeated Michela Albertinelli/ Francesca Trotti (ITA) 3-0: (11-7, 11-8, 11-6)

So Team USA emerges into the Main Draw.

Quarter final: USA defeated Romania B  3-1 (Ariel Hsing (USA) def. Bernadett Balint (ROU) 3-0: (11-6,11-7, 11-8); Natalie Sun (USA) def. Andreea Rosca (ROU) 3-0: (11-6, 11-7, 11-8); in Doubles, Ariel Hsing/ Natalie Sun (USA) lost to Andreea Rosca/ Bernadett Balint (ROU) 2-3: (7-11, 12-10, 6-11,11-8,12-10); Natalie Sun (USA) def. Bernadett Balint (ROU) 3-1: (7-11, 11-3, 11-6,11-9)

Semi Final: USA defeated Belarus 3-1  (Ariel Hsing (USA) def. Alina Arlouskaya (BLR) 3-0:(11-7,11-3, 12-10); Natalie Sun (USA) lost to Katsiaryna Baravok (BLR) 1-3: (9-11,2-11,11-6, 10-12);in Doubles, Ariel Hsing/Natalie Sun (USA) def.Katsiaryna Baravok/ Katsiaryna Bayeva (BLR) 3-0: (11-8, 13-11, 11-3);Ariel Hsing (USA) def. Katsiaryna Baravok 3-2:



Finals: Romania A defeated USA 3-0 (Irina Ciobanu (ROU) def. Ariel Hsing (USA) (11-8, 11-9, 14-12); Bernadette Szocs (ROU) def. Natalie Sun (USA) 3-0 ( 12-10, 11-7, 11-8); in Doubles, Bernadette Szocs/ Irina Ciobanu (ROU) def. Ariel Hsing/ Natalie Sun (USA) 3-0: (11-6, 11-5, 12-10)

In the Individual events, Ariel and Natalie continued their winning ways. 


Results of Cadet Girls Singles: Both Ariel Hsing ( USA ) and Natalie Sun (USA) emerged from their Qualification Groups into the Main Draw. Round of 32: Both received byes. Round of 16: Ariel Hsing ( USA) def. Dominika Vizinova (SVK) 3-0: (11-9, 11-6, 11-4); Natalie Sun ( USA ) def. Gioria Piccolin( ITA)

 3-0: (11-3, 11-7, 11-3) Quarter Final: Ariel Hsing ( USA ) def. Nina Zupanic (SVN) 3-0: (11-3, 11-4, 11-8); Natalie Sun ( USA ) def. Sandra Wabic (POL) 3-1:

(11-9, 11-7, 4-11, 11-9) . Semi final: Ariel Hsing (USA) coming from behind edged out the very talented Celine Pang (FRA) 3-2: ( 4-11,8-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-9) Celine Pang was the recent 1st Place winner at the Youth Olympic Games Qualification Tournament 3 ( Europe event); Natalie Sun (USA) def.  Bernadett Balint (ROU) 3-1: (9-11, 11-3, 11-9, 11-8) This was a big win for Natalie, as Bernadett Balint is ranked #18 in the ITTF U15 World Ranking.


Finals: Ariel Hsing (USA) def. Natalie Sun (USA) 3-2: (6-11, 11-13, 11-9, 11-8, 11-6) in a very hard fought battle. Our congratulations to both girls! (Some stats on these world class Girls cadets: Ariel Hsing is ranked #16 in the top US Women with a USATT rating of 2420. She is currently #5 in the ITTF U15 World Ranking and #37 in the ITTF U 18 World Ranking. Natalie Sun is ranked #19 in the top US Women with a USATT rating of 2386. She is currently #46 in the ITTF U15 World Ranking and #173 in the ITTF U 18 World Ranking. Natalie has been very well coached by former World Champions Zhang Li and Li Zheng Shi in San Francisco . Now she could challenge many junior girls and even beat Ariel a few times in the past year. We can see results like these because we have many great coaches in the USA and strong parental support.)

Results of Cadet Girls Doubles: Round of 32: Ariel Hsing/ Natalie Sun received a bye. Round of 16: Ariel Hsing/ Natalie Sun ( USA ) def. Michela Albertinelli/ Francesca Trotti (ITA) 3-0: (11-5, 11-5, 11-3). Quarter final: Ariel Hsing/ Natalie Sun (USA) def. Alina Arlouskaya/ Vitalija Venckute (LTU) 3-2: (11-6, 5-11, 11-5, 7-11, 15-13) . Semi final: Ariel Hsing/Natalie Sun (USA) def. Bernadett Balint/ Andreea Rosca (ROU) 3:2 (9-11, 11-3, 7-11, 11-7, 11-5)


Finals: Ariel Hsing/Natalie Sun (USA) def. Irina Ciobanu / Bernadette Szocs (ROU) 3-1: (10-12, 11-4, 11-7, 11-9) Another great performance from our USA girls.


Now let's look at the performances of our USA boys, Alexander Yao and Peter Li. In the Junior Boys Team event they combined forces with Pasblo Saragovi of Argentina to form a mixed ARG-USA Team which was placed in Group C with Germany and Spain . The results: Spain defeated USA 3-1. (Alejandro Calvo (ESP) def. Alexander Shin Yao (ARG-USA) 3-2: (12-10, 3-11, 11-5, 6-11, 11-7) in a hard fought match; Moises Alvarez def. Peter Li (ARG-USA) 3-0: (11-5,11-5, 11-2); Pablo Saragovi (ARG-USA) def. Xavier Peral (ESP) 3-1: (11-9,11-7, 6-11, 12-10); Alejandro Calvo (ESP) def. Peter Li (ARG-USA) 3-1: (11-8, 7-11, 11-5, 11-4).

Germany defeated Argentina-USA 3-1. (Our sole point came from Peter Li (ARG-USA) who got off to a great start by outplaying Vu Tran Le (GER) 3-2: (11-7, 8-11, 11-9, 3-11, 11-8); Christoph Schmidl (GER) def. Alexander Shin Yao (ARG-USA) 3-0: (11-8,11-9, 11-3); Benediut Duda (GER) def. Pablo Sargovi (ARG-USA) 3-1:( 4-11, 11-3, 11-3 13-11); Christoph Schmidl (GER) def. Peter Li (ARG-USA) 3-0: (11-3, 11-4, 11-4)

So the ARG-USA Team compiled an 0-2 record which placed them in the Junior Boys Team Consolation Event, and here they redeemed themselves to win!


Results of Junior Boys Teams Consolation: Quarter final: ARG-USA def. Italy B 3-0: (Peter Li (ARG-USA) def. Federico Baciocchi (ITA) 3-2:(7-11, 6-11, 11-3, 11-7 11-8); Alexander Shin Yao (ARG-USA) def. Alessandro Di Marino 3-1:

(11-9,11-9, 8-11, 11-1); Pablo Saragovi (ARG-USA) def. Luca Marcato 3-0:

(11-1, 13-11, 11-7). Semi final: ARG-USA defeated Switzerland 3-0: (Alexander Shin Yao (ARG-USA) def. Linus Trummler (SUI) 3-1: (11-9, 3-11,12-10,11-9); Peter Li (ARG-USA) def. Denis Bernhard (SUI) 3-0: (11-6, 11-4, 11-4); Pablo Saragovi (ARG-USA) def. Lionel Weber (SUI) 3-0: (17-15, 16-14, 11-9).

Finals: ARG-USA defeated Canada 3-0:  (Alexander Shin Yao (ARG-USA) def. Pierre -Luc Theriault (CAN) 3-2: (11-9, 7-11, 11-6, 4-11, 11-7); Peter Li (ARG-USA) def. Andre Ho (CAN) 3-2: ( 13-11, 7-11, 3-11, 11-4 , 11-8) ; Pablo Saragovi (ARG-USA) def. Jordane Dufresne (CAN) 3-0: (11-4, 11-4, 11-3)

So that was a fine win for our Alex and Peter. Also, congratulations to Pablo Saragovi of Argentina . Let's continue to follow Alex and Peter as they played in three more events.


Results of Junior Boys Doubles: Round of 32: Peter Li (USA)/ Alexander Shin Yao (USA) lost to Moises Alvarez(ESP) / Alejandro Calvo (ESP) 0-3:

(5-11, 6-11, 9-11) exit USA 


Results of Cadet Boy Singles: Qualifier Group -  Alex Yao (USA) compiled a 2-1 record and emerged to the Main Draw ( Alex Shin Yao def. Nicolo Appolloni (ITA) 3-1: (11-8, 7-11,11-3,11-8); Alex Shin Yao lost to Gergely Sabjan (HUN) 2-3 (11-8, 11-13, 9-11, 11-4, 9-11); Alex Shin Yao def. Vincent Rousseau-Emond(CAN) 3-0: (11-2, 11-6, 11-7) Round of 32: Alex Shin Yao (USA) def. Franjo Marelja (HRV) 3-2: (11-8, 6-11, 5-11, 11-5, 11-8). Round of 16: Alex Shin Yao (USA) def. Peter Ingemar  (SVK) 3-0: (12-10, 13-11, 11-8) Quarter final: Alex ShinYao (USA) lost to Leonardo Mutti (ITA) 1-3:

(8-11, 5-11, 13-11, 11-13) exit USA   So Alex got to the quarter finals, a creditable performance. (Cadet extraordinaire Alexander Shin Yao is ranked #62 in the top US Men with a USATT rating of 2404. He is currently ranked #57 in the ITTF U15 World Rankings.) 


Results of Junior Boy's Singles: Peter Li (USA) compiled a 2-1 record and emerged to the Main Draw.(Peter Li def. Raves Galatan (ROU) 3-1: (11-7,11-8, 10-12,11-9); Peter Li lost to Ludovic (BEL) 0-3:

(12-14, 5-11, 9-11); Peter Li def. Moises Alvarez (ESP) 3-0: (11-9, 12-10, 11-9) Round of 32: Peter Li (USA) lost to Florian Wagner (GER) 0-4: (8-11,8-11, 3-11, 6-11) exit USA   with Peter getting to the Round of 32. The best of Peter is yet to come. (Junior phenom Peter Li is ranked #15 in the top US Men with a USATT rating of 2563. He is currently ranked #166 in the ITTF U18 World Ranking.)


Once again, this shows the successful results that our junior USATT athletes can achieve when we coordinate our efforts to support our junior players. Congratulations to Ariel, Natalie, Alex, and Peter for one of the best ITTF Junior Circuit performances ever, and thanks to the many in the USATT, their coaches, and the parents of our juniors that played a vital part in this, all contributing to foster a strong team spirit.  With an eye focused on their continued progress, I look forward to working with them again in the near future.