Liu Juan's table tennis run falls just short of recent U.S. best

Posted at 5:26 AM, Jul 27, 2021

American Liu Juan fell just short of becoming the first U.S. table tennis player to reach the quarterfinals of an event since 2008, rallying to win two sets after dropping 11-9 decisions in the first three but then losing the final set 11-8 to 14th-seeded Yu Mengyu of Singapore.

Earlier, Liu advanced to the women's singles Round of 16 with a comfortable 4-1 win over Romania's Bernadette Szocs in the early session. Despite entering the tournament as the 68th seed in a field of 70, Liu won four matches in four days to reach the last sixteen.

Fellow American Lily Zhang, who has a considerable number of upset wins in her career and was seeded 18th, fell in her Round of 32 match with Chinese Taipei's Szu Yu Chen, the 13 seed.


There was one point during his Round 3 match in which Jeoung Youngsik's (KOR) elimination looked all but certain. That was before he saved seven straight match points, erased a 3-1 deficit, and eliminated Greece's Panagiotis Gionis in Game 7. Jeoung cruised past Germany's Timo Boll in the Round of 16, meaning the 10-seed went from staring elimination in the face to becoming the first men's singles quarterfinalist. All in a day's work.


China's Ma Long was given a tricky Round 3 task in the form of India's Sharath Kamal, but one of the greatest players of all time was able to withstand Kamal's early push and book his ticket to the Round of 16 with a 4-1 win.