Guo Yan_0042

25 year Guo Yan, the World no.five,  from Beijing, and a member of the Chinese National team since she was 14 years of age is the 2009 English Open Ladies Singles Champion. She beat her opponent, the higher- rated World no. four – 18 year-old  Liu Shiwen after five games of the most furious counter-hitting  top-spin Ladies table tennis that Sheffield has ever witnessed.

Both players were evenly matched in the rallies and the final 4-1 scoreline does  scant justice to the evenly matched nature of this game. Guo Yan combined the qualities of determination, bravery, composure and good sportsmanship in abundance as she moved into a 3-1 lead against her prodigious opponent. She won the fourth game 16-14, the best individual game of the day and a game Liu Shiwen badly needed to win. Guo Yan had her nose in front now, and she wasn’t going to beaten. She duly captured her fifth Pro-Tour Ladies Singles title, and a tenth title overall winning 11-9, 11-13, 11-7, 16-14, 11-6.

Image: Guo Yan, courtesy

Steve Kerns