What a sight to see when looking at our seasons change here in mighty North Carolina. The trees look beautiful with an array of different colors! The birds are singing! The sky is shouting! Even the bugs seem to display lots of happy emotions during this time! How about watching another great Tournament? Yes, indeed what a sight to see watching players engage in some competitive matches and having an enjoyable day playing the great sport of table tennis! Perhaps, the bugs cheered up and danced with joy as they sensed a tournament was in town! This is exactly what happened last Saturday as we hosted our 2018 Triangle November Open Tournament. Players from different parts of the United States and with various skill levels came and participated in our three events which are as follows: the U1250, the U2200 and the U3600 doubles. Grab some popcorn and a drink and find out by reading what happened and who secured the prize money!
The U1250 event came with lots of excitement and strenuous battles. You could almost feel like you were on the battlefield with two Armies going at it. Who would advance to battle for the big money? To everyone’s surprise Weiguo Jiang (1203) did not advance to the next round. Yet, know this Weiguo will be back and will make his impression with his dynamite pips. The other top seed Daniel Dreano (1149) defeated his opponents quite easily and advanced with determination to take the prize money home. Rama Varanasi (873) and Hoa Le (710) seemed to have “the eye of the tiger,” in their blood. They ferociously fought and beat everyone in their group with one exception. Yes, that exception is they had to play one another. Hoa beat Rama in the first round but they would have to see each other again in the finals. Stay tuned. The semifinals were underway and Hoa faced off against the young and talented Yiduo Huang (1128). Hoa beat Yiduo 3-0 and was awaiting to see who he would be battling against for the big prize money. Rama had a big task ahead of him as he had to overcome Daniel who defeated all in his way. Rama came out of the gate like he had to prove himself. Rama beat Daniel 3-0 and with the “eye of the tiger”, in his blood he went to the finals. Rama challenged Hoa in the finals and shall we call it the ultimate grudge match. Remember Rama lost to Hoa earlier and now had his chance for revenge. His tiger instincts, adaptability and his determination secured him the gold. He beat Hoa 3-0 and went home in style with a great victory! Congratulations Rama for such an awesome win and making our U1250 event a memorable one!
The U2200 was the highest rated event of the tournament with lot of players having similar ratings. The event was bound to be full of enthusiasm and healthy competition! During the first round there were no real surprises except for Maksim Kovalev (1559) who was able to conquer two players above him and advance to the next round. Anticipation picked up during the quarterfinals; as you know anything could happen. If you think lightning moves fast then you have not seen the following players play yet. Isabella Xu (1955) with her quick reflexes and power drives that are from another world was matched up against Roberto Morales (1777) with his lightning speed and fast hits. This was a match for the ages and yet it was only the quarterfinals. They both thrashed at the ball making the ball fly with superior speed and the games were very close. Yet, Roberto was able to win the close games and claimed victory over Isabella 3-1. Maksim the underdog came with ability and determination to go against Wayne “the Viking” Carney (1876). Wayne with his never give up attitude won 3-1 and advanced to the semifinals. David Pannell (1671) played against Jerred Miklowcic (1824) and went all the way to game 5. David pulled out an impressive victory and was simply on fire! Anav Gupta (1653) had to claw his way through Ajai Singh (1708). Ajai who was very consistent in his defensive slices was just not able to beat Anav. This brings us to the semifinals. Roberto the speedster went through Anav quickly with a 3-0 victory and seemed unstoppable. The other semifinals match, David was matched up against Wayne “the Viking” Carney. David played well but just could not pull off an upset against the Viking. Thus, Wayne advanced to the final to spar against Roberto. Wayne went up to the finals table like a Gladiator entering the Coliseum. This was going to be a fight to the finish! Would the Viking with his unmatched determination defeat Roberto whose speed seemed so fast you could not keep up? All eyes were on Wayne and Roberto. Wayne with his impressive playing style and returning the balls with amazing accuracy won the first game and seemed ready for anything. Roberto seemed to take it up another level and with turbo speed and movement came back and won the next 3 games. Roberto claimed victory over Wayne in amazing fashion. Great Job Roberto for giving the crowds a great victory in the Coliseum.
After the dust settled from the outstanding single matches you could feel a calm in the storm; as if we were in the eye of the storm. But out of nowhere the wind again started picking up and you could feel the intense atmosphere as the U3600 doubles matches began. It almost looked like it was hailing, but it was not ice. It was Chi Tran (1903) and Jinpeng Xiao (1610) hitting a ping pong ball like Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle. They got a home run in the first round as they went 5-0 and advanced to the next round. Bella Xu (1955) and Xin Wang (1607) shall we call them the X team as they X’d out most of the other teams and advanced to the quarterfinals. The Table Tennis Stars Bryan Zeng (1414) and Moustapha Nasser (1842) showed up with pure domination and got 1st in their division securing them a right to the next round. As a matter of fact, Bryan and Moustapha would go to the finals but to keep you in suspense we will make you wait a few moments! Bella and Xin could not X-out the Table Tennis Stars Bryan and Moustapha, but were able to secure third place by beating Changbo Lu (1792) and Brandon Moody (1790). This brings us to the main event. It would be the Baseball Stars Chi and Jinpeng vs the Table Tennis Stars Bryan and Moustapha. Mickey Mantle stood up to bat but for some odd reason could not hit the ball. Bryan and Moustapha came with zeal and with authority. You could almost hear Bryan and Moustapha whisper this is not baseball! This is Table Tennis! The Table Tennis Stars dismantled Mickey Mantle. Congratulations to Bryan and Moustapha for such a great game of Table Tennis. We hereby crown you guys “The U3600 Doubles Champions!”