Tennis: Wang Qiang, Yoshihito Nishioka win Asian Games singles
- Updated: September 30, 2014
September 30, 2014: China’s rising star Wang Qiang upset Thailand’s top-seeded Luksika Kumkhum 6-3, 7-6(5) on Tuesday afternoon to win the Asian Games women’s singles competition at the Yeorumul Tennis Courts in Incheon.
Wang only dropped one set in Incheon – coming from behind in her semi-final against Japan’s Misa Eguchi – as the 22-year-old second seed maintained her encouraging recent form, which included a second-round appearance in her Grand Slam debut at the US Open.
“This is my first Asian Games and my first time to play in Korea so I will be leaving with happy memories,” said Wang, who succeeded compatriots Zheng Jie (2006) and Peng Shuai (2010). “It is also an honour to win the gold medal for China the day before our National Day. This victory will give me great motivation for the future on the professional tour.”
Wang broke the Thai’s serve twice to win the first set in only 42 minutes. In the second set, she fell behind 2-0, 3-1 and 4-2 before drawing level at 4-4 and eventually going on to win the tiebreak 7-5. Wang also beat Luksika in Wuhan in early August to win her fourth ITF singles title of the year and ninth overall – four in China, two in Japan, two in Indonesia and one in India.
Wang is ranked World No. 108, making her China’s fourth-ranked active player – behind Peng Shuai, Zhang Shuai and veteran Zheng Jie. The Tianjin-born star is one of the upcoming generation of Chinese players that also includes Zheng Saisai, Zhu Lin and Wang Yafan, all aged 20.
In the men’s singles final, Japanese fifth seed Yoshihito Nishioka upset top seed Rendy Lu Yen-hsun of Chinese Taipei 6-2, 6-2. The left-handed Nishioka, 19, won his first Challenger title in Shanghai in early September by beating India No. 1 Somdev Devvarman in the final.
Luksika – who in January beat Petra Kvitova to reach the second round of the Australian Open for the second straight year – preceded her singles silver by winning the women’s doubles with Tamarine Tanasugarn. The seventh-seeded Thai pair beat Chinese Taipei’s second seeds Hsieh Su-wei and Chan Chin-wei 5-7, 6-3, 10-3 in the final.
Hosts South Korea triumphed in the men’s doubles when eighth seeds Lim Yong-kyu and 18-year-old Chung Hyeon – who won his first ITF title in Bangkok at the end of August – beat fifth-seeded Indians Saketh Myneni and Sanam Singh 7-5, 7-5.
As well as a silver, Myneni picked up a gold in the mixed doubles when he and Sania Mirza beat Chinese Taipei’s Peng Hsien-yin and Angel Chan Hao-ching 6-4, 6-3. Chan, 21, and elder sister Latisha Chan Yung-jan were the top seeds in the women’s doubles, but lost to Luksika and Tamarine in the semi-finals.
With contributions by Kimleng Tieng, OCA Young Reporter, Cambodia