Japan’s Miu Hirano Stuns World Number Two Zhu Yuling in Asian Table Tennis Final

By Dayafter Bureau, Agencies

Japanese teenager Miu Hirano continued her giant-killing spree at the Asian table tennis championships, stunning world No. 2 Zhu Yuling 3-0 to reach the women’s singles final in Wuxi on Friday.

Hirano registered a superb 11-7, 11-9, 11-8 victory over Zhu, reports Xinhua news agency.

“We do need to take a thorough study on her serve,” commented Zhu after losing the semi. “I lost at least six points on it.”

Zhu’s coach Li Sun, who had guided Wang Nan, Zhang Yining and Li Xiaoxia to win the Grand Slam of the Olympic Games, world championships and the World Cup, however, thought the main problem was Zhu herself.

“She didn’t play her best table tennis, for sure,” said Li. “But I think Zhu lost because she’s too eager to win. In that case, Hirano was the better player today on court.”

“We have to admit that the Japanese women paddlers made rapid progress recently and they do know the right tactics and can successfully carry those out,” he added.

World No. 11 Hirano, who turned 17 on Thursday, had produced arguably the biggest upset in the quarter-finals, beating Olympic and world champion Ding Ning 3-2, a best ever birthday gift to herself.

Compared to her Chinese opponents whom she defeated for the first time, Hirano was determined and fearless.