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Singapore teenage paddler Zhou Jingyi wins WTT U-17 girls' title in Hungary

Singapore youth paddler Zhou Jingyi claimed the Under-17 girls' singles title at the World Table Tennis (WTT) Youth Contender Szombathely in Hungary with a 3-1 (11-7, 8-11, 12-10, 11-9) win over Yashaswini Deepak Ghorpade of India on Saturday.

Ghorpade had earlier thwarted hopes of an all-Singaporean final by defeating Ser Lin Qian in the semi-finals. Ser's joint-third placing comes after finishing runner-up in the U-15 category of last week's WTT Youth Contender Senec in Slovakia. 

In Slovakia last week, Zhou, 16, had finished second in the U-19 and U-17 categories, with Ghorpade pipping her to the U-17 title then.

Zhou told the WTT website: “Her playing style was a rare one. There were a lot of hard touches with the pimples, so I had to keep my patience and not rush the points.

"I knew what I was up against, so we made strategies against her. I have also been training against this type of playing style lately, but there are only a few players who play this way back home.

"My first goal is to perform as well as possible in the Under-19 category. In terms of the long-term future, I would like to keep up my training and become one of the best players.”

Zhou's victory comes following several achievements by her compatriots.

Last week, 15-year-old Izaac Quek smashed his way to his second title in consecutive weeks as he won the WTT Youth Contender Szombathely U-19 boys’ singles title, adding to the U-15 boys’ singles crown he won at the WTT Youth Contender Lignano in Italy.

Senior players Zeng Jian and Lin Ye also finished joint-third in the women’s doubles event at WTT Contender Lasko in Slovenia. The duo defeated Romania's Bernadette Szocs and Andreea Dradoman 3-2 in the quarter-finals, but lost 3-1 to Adriana Diaz and Melanie Diaz of Puerto Rico in the semis.

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