Yan An Just Got Lucky Against Zhang Jike (Videos)

Yan An Just Got Lucky Against Zhang Jike (Videos)
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Yan An has already posted a good number of highlights in his career for this year. Starting with the World Championships Squad Trials and in few Open tournaments, Yan An has been consistent in showing his potential threat against the Chinese main players. Just last weekend, he overcame the Grand Slam champion Zhang Jike. Despite these highlights, head coach Liu Guoliang thinks that he was just lucky. Is Liu Guoliang waiting for a bigger explosive in Paris? 


Sohu Sports. Having to defeat a Grand Slam champion in any competition makes such person an instant celebrity. This is what the promising rookie Yan An did last week in Incheon. However, the head coach of the Chinese Team seemed to be unimpressed with his performance. 

At the age of 20, Yan An has already showed much promise in his table tennis career. At a young age, he was able to earn the opportunities to play in the international arena which is very hard to get within the Chinese Team. 

This year, Yan An has made his presence felt in both the World Championships Squad Trials and a few Open Tournaments. In the squad selection for Paris, Yan An was commended for having to seal the fourth spot in the lineup, beating Olympic champions, Ma Lin and Chen Qi along the way. 

Yan An vs Ma Long 2013 WTTC Squad Trials
video kindly shared by TTJanus

Yan An vs Ma Lin 2013 WTTC Squad Trials
video kindly shared by TTJanus

In two instances, Yan An has been consistent in making life difficult for the superman of the Chinese Team, Ma Long. In the 2013 Qatar Open, Yan An almost defeated Ma Long in a very narrow margin. In the squad trials, he repeated another feat. 

Yan An vs Ma Long 2013 Qatar Open
video kindly shared by janus770

Just last weekend, Yan An had another highlight after he overcame the Grand Slam champion Zhang Jike in a full battle where he showed a great amount of persistence. Despite being behind in 1-3, and 5-10 in the decider, Yan An was able to make it through, winning in 4-3. 

Although opportunities have been given to Yan An, for the coaches, he still has a lot more to learn. According to the head coach Liu Guoliang, Yan An's recent victory against Zhang Jike was all just a matter of luck. 

"Yan An did not have much flashing points. He was just lucky enough to win over Zhang Jike who was relaxed. But I should say that Yan An's stability has improved." Liu Guoliang said. 

As for his personal coach, Xiao Zhan, Yan An has really progressed for the past two years. "As a younger player under my supervision, he has a distinctive style of play which can pose a threat to the main players. He has progressed a lot in the last two years." 

Zhang Jike and Yan An are both under Xiao Zhan's guidance. Can Yan An be the next Zhang Jike who will just earn the full approval from Liu Guoliang by winning the 2013 World Championships in Paris? Well, we will just have to wait and see. 

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