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14 July 2019 | in Tennis

Japan and Chinese Taipei win women's and men's singles titles

Chun-Hsin Tseng takes the men’s singles title and Naho Sato the women’s singles gold. Yana Sizikova and Ivan Gakhov of Russia withstood a final set tiebreak against Czech Republic to take home the mixed doubles title 

 

NAPOLI, 13 July – The nine days of the tennis event at Napoli 2019 culminated with the finals in men’s and women’s singles and the gold medal match of mixed pairs.

 

The clay courts of Tennis Club Napoli provided the venue beside the oceanside boardwalk. One side of the court opened a picturesque panorama of residential houses scattered on the hill while the other side almost touched the sea.

 

Naho Sato from Japan became the gold medalist in women’s single after winning two sets. Chun-Hsin Tseng from Chinese Taipei took the gold medal in men’s singles after losing the first set but gained the advantage and a confident lead in the last two sets. Russia won the tie-breaker and took gold in the mixed pairs event.

 

In the afternoon, the gold medal match in women’s singles took place between 21-year old Emily Frances Alice Arbuthnott from the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland, and 18-year old Naho Sato from Japan. Naho was able to show good quality right after the start of the match putting some pressure on her opponent.

 

Every time Emily took her moment to gain points, Naho had good answers and took the lead. The first set finished with 4-6 in favor of Sato. In the second set the athletes were in full flight as they gained a nice speed and waited for the right moment to attack. Emily displayed a certain frentic quality to her game, as she was able to strike a beautiful ball to the match alive. Some moments later, though, Naho scored another ball and finished that match. She won the two sets with the same score (4-6).

 

 

The gold medalist Naho Sato, who came into Napoli as the 198th ITF world-ranked player, told FISU Media about her victory. “It was a very special match for me as this was a match for the gold medal. I tried not to be nervous and take it as another ordinary match, but I knew it would determine the winner.” She added that she had never played with Emilie before, but she knew that she could play well.


Men's singles medalists from the 30th Summer Universiade, which took place on the final day of tennis competition at the Old Napoli Tennis Club
 

After the match, FISU Media also caught up with Emily Frances Alice Arbuthnott, for comment on her silver medal performance. “It was difficult conditions because it was very windy today,” the ITF top-1000 ranked player said. “I think it was a close match. Naho played very well in a lot of the close points when she was down in the game, so I am a little bit frustrated that I could not capitalize on those points.”

 

For bronze medal winner Chompoothip Jundakate of Thailand, the 30th Summer Universiade ranked the player’s first occasion to visit Europe. “I did not expect that I would go this far,” Jundakate said commenting on her performance. “This was the second time for me to participate in a really big tournament.”

 

The gold medal matchup in men’s singles brought 20-year old Khumoyun Sultanov from Uzbekistan and sensational 17-year old Chun-Hsin Tseng from Chinese Taipei onto centre court. It was a tough match for the athletes as both were capable of outperforming each other.

 

In the first serve game Tseng took the lead and completed the game with a clean score of 0-40. From the second game on, Sultanov was able to catch up with Tseng but stayed behind him until the eighth game. Later the athletes engaged in a marathon battle and Sultanov was able to earn valuable points with powerful groundstrokes placed expertly down the line.

 

The first set went to a 6-6 tie-break, which Sultanov won. Starting with the same scenario – Tseng in the lead – in the second set Rustamov improved the situation very quickly and became dominant after the fourth game. The last two games, though, were won by Tseng which helped him to win the set (3-6).

 

In the final third set, Tseng won the first three games but lost to Rustamov in the fourth game. In the following games Rustamov could not outperform Chun-Hsin Tseng with his break-points. Tseng became the gold medalist.

 

Rustamov, who had to save the match with many break points, commented on his performance:

 

“I think the reason was that I got quite tired at the end. The day before we also had to stay late at night and play our match which took away some energy. Today it was a long battle too. I did my utmost and gave all my power to this match. It looks like the Lady Luck was on his side and these are the results that we got.”

 

Finalis victor Chun-Hsin Tseng, relayed his excitement about his gold medal performance to FISU Media. “The first set was rather tough. I tried to stay calm and focused in the second and the third sets. Finally, I won the match.”

 

When asked about his plans for celebrating the victory, he said he would just hang around with his teammates and enjoy some sea food near the Napoli 2019 sporting venue.

 
Yana Sizikova and Ivan Gakhov of Russia celebrate a point against the Czech Republic during the gold medal mixed doubles match

The mixed pairs final saw Russia’s Yana Sizikova and Ivan Gakhov take on Czech Republic’s Anastasia Zarycka and Dominik Kellovsky. In a breathtaking, and at times heartbreaking match, both teams were able to win six games in two different sets. In the final tie-breaker, Russia won with 10-8 to take home the tournament’s gold medal.

 

Ivan Gakhov, who also took a bronze medal in the men’s singles, expressed to FISU Media what it meant to take home gold in mixed pairs. “I am very happy. What makes me especially happy is that we won in such a tight match. It is always very nervous to compete in a tie-breaker. Every point can cost you a victory. All of us were nervous but probably the one who managed to cope with that stress in the best way, got the chance to win. I feel so happy for Yana and myself.”

 

The day’s events conclude all tennis matches of the Napoli 2019 Summer Universiade. After the lights went out on centre court of Tennis Club Napoli, only the water polo medal games and the closing ceremony are what’s left to come of the 30th edition of this event.

 

Results

Women’s Singles

Gold: SATO Naho (Japan)

Silver: ARBUTHNOTT Emily Frances Alice (Great Britain)

Bronze: JUNDAKATE Chompoothip (Thailand)

Bronze: CHONG Eudice Wong (Hong Kong)

 

Men’s Singles

Gold: TSENG Chun-Hsin (Chinese Taipei)

Silver: SULTANOV Khumoyun (Uzbekistan)

Bronze: POULLAIN Lucas (France)

Bronze: GAKHOV Ivan (Russia)

 

Mixed Doubles

Gold: Russia (Y. Sizikova/ I. Gakhov)

Silver: Czech Republic (A. Zarycka/ D. Kellovsky)

Bronze: France (A. Robbe/R. Joncour)

Bronze: China (H. Wu/Q. Ye)

 

Khumoyun Sultanov leads Uzbekistan to men's doubles gold

 

NAPOLI, 12 July – Set against the stunning backdrop of the Neapolitan bay, tennis competition at the Summer Universiade wound towards a close as the women’s and men’s doubles finals were contested at the Napoli Tennis Club.

 

On a sea-facing centre court that would give the Monte Carlo Masters a run for its money in sheer gorgeousness, Asian women totally dominated the women’s doubles competition. Hong Kong were beaten in an epic semi-final by eventual silver medallists Chinese Taipei, while China beat Japan in the last four and then went onto win gold.

The final match between China and Chinese Taipei was extremely close every step of the way, as Hanyu Guo and Qiuyu Ye took on Chinese Taipei’s Ya-Hsuan Lee and Pei-Chi Lee. Taipei won the first set in a tie-breaker, but then China bounced back to win the second set 6-2. That sent the battle into a match tie-breaker, with China winning it 10-8, and with it, the gold medal.

 

The Chinese duo of Guo and Ye, both aged 21, combined beautifully throughout the tournament, including getting through some tough matches earlier in the tournament.

 

The women’s singles semi-finals followed, with Chompoothip Jundakate of Thailand, world no.571 on the WTA rankings, taking on 18-year-old Naho Sato of Japan ranked 582. The match was not as close as their rankings would have predicted, with Sato winning in straight sets. The Japanese youngster, who has been as high as number seven on the ITF world junior rankings, broke Jundakate’s serve three times to win the first set 6-4. She then ran through the second, winning it 6-1. Sato will be up against Emily Arbuthnott of Great Britain in the quest for singles gold.  

 

In the men’s singles semifinals, Khumoyun Sultanov from Uzbekistan was simply too strong for his French opponent Lucas Poullain. The 20-year-old Uzbek, who has jumped nearly 200 spots on the ATP Tour rankings in the first six months of the year – going from 561 at the end of 2018 to number 380 in July 2019 – beat Poullain in straight sets, winning the first set 6-0. It was disappointing for Poullain, who had also finished with a bronze medal in Gwangju in 2015. Sultanov will take on Chun-Hsin Tseng ofChinese Taipei in the final.

 

The final match of the evening was a cracker, even as night fell upon the seaside and floodlights came on. Khumoyun was back on court with partner Sanjar Fayziev against Seongchan Hong and Sanhui Shin of Korea in the men’s doubles title match. It was another close encounter that went all the way to a match tie-break. Despite the Korean duo’s best efforts – and some breathtaking shots – Uzbekistan won the gold medal after coming back from 0-3 down in the final tie-breaker.  

 

The men’s and women’s singles finals will be played on Saturday, 13 July, and mixed doubles will close tennis competition at Napoli 2019 the same evening.

 

Results:

Women’s doubles

Gold: GUO Hanyu/YE Qiuyu (CHN)

Silver: LEE Pei-Chi/LEE Ya-Hsuan (TPE)

Bronze: MORISAKI Kanako/SATO Naho (JPN), CHONG Eudice/NG Maggie (HKG)

 

Men’s doubles

Gold: SULTANOV Khomoyun/FAYZIEV Sanjar (UZB)

Silver: HONG Seongchan/SHIN Sanhui Shin (KOR)

Bronze: XU Shuai/WU HAO (CHN), ITO Yuya/SHIMABUKURO Sho (JPN)

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