Zhang Jike Losing The Motivation (Videos)

Zhang Jike Losing The Motivation (Videos)
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The reigning Olympic and world champion Zhang Jike did not have a longer exposure in his first ever Open competition for this year. Yesterday, Zhang Jike failed to progress into the final day as he was blocked by the Japanese Taku Takakiwa in the quarterfinals. Just recently, Zhang Jike received serious criticisms from head coach Liu Guoliang and said that if Zhang Jike fails to keep up with the competition, then the London Olympics could be his last.


ITTF. Zhang Jike participated his first ever open competition this week in Wels as the top seed in the Men's Singles. As the top seed, the reigning Olympic and world champion and the Grand Slam champion, a lot is expected from him. However, Zhang Jike failed to meed those expectations. 

The Chinese Team participated their first ever ITTF Open competition for the year 2013 in the city of Wels for the Austrian Open. Since the 2012/13 Chinese Super League is still going on, some members of the Chinese Team were not able to participate in the Austria Open. 

Among who participated was the reigning Olympic and world champion Zhang Jike. As the world's number two, Zhang Jike was the top seed for the Men's Singles, Of course, holding such ranking is a status symbol worthy of recognition and pressure as well. 

Zhang Jike actually started the competition just fine. In the first two rounds in the main draw, Zhang Jike scored sweep victories against Borna Kovac (NED) and Marko Jevtovic (SRB). However, things began to get shaky for Zhang Jike in the Round 16 when he had to survive the challenge from the young Japanese player Kenta Matsudaira. In the match, Zhang Jike was down in 0-2 before establishing a 3-2 lead. However, the Chinese player allowed his opponent to catch up before winning the deciding set.  

Zhang Jike vs Kenta Matsudaira 2013 Austrian Open
video kindly shared by TableTennisEvents

After the survival, Zhang Jike faced another Japanese player, Taku Takakiwa in the quarterfinals. Compared to the previous round, Zhang Jike started better with a 3-1 score. However, Zhang Jike probably got a bit complacent and failed to seize his opportunities. At the end, Zhang Jike came late as Takakiwa sealed the match 10-12, 11-9, 6-11, 8-11, 12-10, 11-7, 13-11. 

Zhang Jike vs Taku Takakiwa 2013 Austrian Open
video kindly shared by TableTennisEvents

This result is a bit surprising knowing that Zhang Jike is considered to be one of the best players in table tennis right now. He completed all the world titles in the fastest way possible and was hailed as the Grand Slam champion in 445 days. 

In addition, such result would probably cause a lot of worries from his fans as well. The question now is that has Zhang Jike lost his motivation now that he has already completed the Grand Slam. 

Recently, head coach Liu Guoliang seriously criticised Zhang Jike on his poor performance in the 2013 World Championships squad trials, especially in the last day. With his own words, Liu Guoliang warned that the 2012 London Olympics could be the last for Zhang Jike especially if he will not adhere to the demands of the competition. Lastly, Liu Guoliang saw that Zhang Jike did not strive to win and for him, it is a dangerous attitude that could make his glory short-lived. 

Well, as of now, things are not that promising for Zhang Jike. However, it is still the start of the year, Zhang Jike still have his chances in the next competitions. Zhang Jike is scheduled to play in the Kuwait and Qatar Opens next month. For all the fans, continue to support him and hope that Zhang Jike will be able to recover. 

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