TOKYO: Singapore’s Yu Mengyu swept world number 8 Cheng I-Ching 4-0 at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium on Tuesday (Jul 27), booking her place in the women's singles round of 16 at the Tokyo Olympics.
Yu, who is ranked 47th in the world, looked in imperious form, as she beat her Chinese Taipei opponent 11-5, 11-9, 12-10, 11-6.
“I was happy to get the win. I think we prepared thoroughly before the game and I was more stable in the way I approached it,” she told reporters after the game.
The Singaporean has an outstanding track record against Cheng, and went into the game 10-3 in head-to-head matches.
31-year-old Yu came out strong, racing to a 6-0 lead. And while her opponent eventually got a few points on the board, the Singapore took the first game 11-5.
Yu, whose best finish at an Olympic Games was the quarter-finals in 2016, seized the initiative in the second game but her opponent kept within striking distance. But Yu kept her cool, winning the second game 11-9.
Cheng made her move in the third, winning three consecutive points after a timeout to put the score at 9-6. But the Singaporean battled back and took the game 12-10.
And while her opponent showed some signs of a comeback in the final game, Yu claimed the last game 11-6.
Yu had a day off on Monday, after her victory against Portugal’s Shao Jieni on Sunday.
She noted that the rest helped, given that her opponent was in action in the mixed doubles where she won a bronze.
“I had a day to rest yesterday, while Cheng might have used all her energy on mixed doubles,” added Yu, who used the day off to fine-tune her strategy to face Cheng.
Yu will next face Liu Juan of the United States later in the day. The American upset Romanian Bernadette Szocs in the previous round.
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