Canterbury Open 1st to 2nd August 2009

Photos from the day

Final Results

Better topspin turned up a couple of firsts for leading New Zealand table tennis player Jenny Hung in Christchurch on Saturday, August 1.

Hung, 18, of Christchurch, won her first Canterbury Open women's crown by beating close rival Yang Sun four sets to one in the final at Flexoplas Stadium. It marked the first time that Hung, who recently won the international World Junior Circuit event on the Gold Coast, has beaten Sun. The win was all the more significant given that Sun, also of Christchurch, earlier this year reached the main draw of 128 at the world championships, one of the few New Zealanders to have done so.

Hung, the national under-21 champion and last year's North Island Open winner, used her developing forehand loop to force her way past Sun's shovelling chop defence. The match also had several eye-catching counter-attacking exchanges. "My looping from heavy chop is more consistent and more spinny and faster," said Hung, who headed off New Zealand representative Michelle McCarthy, of Waikato, in the semi-final. "It's just improved."

In the men's final, the sublimely talented Jong-Eub Han, formerly of Korea but now of Christchurch, showed in retaining his title something of a gap between his playing level and that of a top homegrown player. Han, 41, who had earlier accounted for visiting Australian Nam Ho Oh, often simply blocked the driving of Auckland-based John Cordue, 25, and even jabbed serves back irretrievably from time to time with casual ease. Cordue, rated fifth nationally, did well to secure a set.

The under-21 men's event produced a hometown upset when the unseeded Stewart Van Zanten, a rangy attacker of natural ability, showed too much firepower for opposing semi-finalist Danny Kim before defeating the fast-rising Kane Stewart.

players of the future

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