With the very best on duty at the WTT Champions Macao 2023 – presented by the Galaxy Entertainment Group – on Thursday 20 April Australia’s Liu Yangzi underlined the level at which she can play.
Staged at the Pingyuan Sports Centre, in the round of 16 she provided a severe test for China’s Wang Manyu, the reigning World champion.
Although a straight games defeat was the order of the day, it was a match closer than the score line suggests, with both the first and third games were decided by the minimal two-point margin (12-10, 11-6, 16-14).
Earlier, the 21-year-old had accounted for Egypt’s Dina Meshref (8-11, 11-6, 15-13, 7-11, 11-7).
Liu Yangzi learnt her skills in China, the country associated with table tennis technical excellence, but most importantly, she has strong parental backing.
Her mother works for the government affording moral support, she has an uncle who plays table tennis, but the principal reason is her father – he is a high-level coach who introduced his daughter to the sport.
With skills fashioned in China, Liu Yangzi finally settled in Australia in June 2019, having spent a short time the previous year in Portugal.
Notably, in late 2018 she won the junior girls’ singles title at the ITTF World Junior Circuit tournament in Guimarães.
Six months after moving to Australia, in December, she succeeded at the Finlandia Open in Helsinki; an open international tournament title win that set new heights for Oceania.