WENDY ZHANG MAKES A MARK
Wen Yu (Wendy) Zhang, who is now the best ranked Canadian player and is currently second only to Michelle Li, has had a solid start to the season thus far.
The 55th-ranked player in the world finished in second place at the Ukraine Open, third at the Orleans Masters, and in the quarterfinals of the Pan American Individual Championships. It was her first victory over a player ranked in the top 20 when she did it at the Uber Cup, where she defeated world No. 19 Kim Ga Eun.
Zhang was competing in her maiden BWF World Championships and managed to advance to the second round by defeating Thet Htar Thuzar of Myanmar. However, in the second round, Zhang was defeated by the fearsome figure of Carolina Marin.
“It’s very interesting. “This is my very first time competing at the World Championships,” the 20-year-old athlete stated. “The fact that I am able to compete at this level tells me that I am making progress and that I am getting better.” My goal in coming here was to study and learn from some of the best players in the world, and maybe to progress to the point where I can compete at the next level.
Zhang’s young career has already shown promise, especially in the team tournaments that she has participated in so far. In the third singles match of the Uber Cup from the year before, she defeated the higher-ranked Line Kjaersfeldt in three games. The match was against Denmark. The next day, she assisted Canada in completing another three-game sweep, this time over Malaysia with a 4-1 victory.
At the Uber Cup that took place this year, she defeated Kim Ga Eun with an admirable level of poise by coming back from a five-point deficit in the third game to win the match 22-20.
Zhang stated, “I just looked at it like any other game I had played before or since.” “All I was trying to do was be patient and have faith in myself,” she said. And all I was doing was attempting to do my best to play each rally as though it were 0-0. I didn’t really give much thought to who she was or where she was from in the first place. I was simply trying to have fun out there on the floor.”
Zhang has received praise for her demeanor from national coach Jennifer Lee, who supported her throughout the most recent Uber Cup.
According to Lee, “she’s coachable; she listens and takes your comments while the match is in progress.” “During the breaks in a match, she offers some interesting things, which I really enjoy.”
Lee has identified a few areas in which there is room for improvement. “She is quite skilled in the art of deception. Young players have a tendency to overuse deception, but I’ve cautioned her to only do so when absolutely necessary. For example, I suggested that she only do it once for every five or six ordinary strokes. In addition to this, she needs to work on physically strengthening both her upper and lower body. In her match against Carolina, she won every point thanks to her superior technique rather than her superior speed or force.
Zhang, along with other up-and-coming players from Canada, looks up to Michelle Li, who has been the face of the Canadian challenge in women’s singles for a long time.
Zhang explains, “Of course, she is a source of inspiration for me, and I look up to her.” “There is a great deal that I can pick up from her. It only makes me want to challenge myself to work harder so that one day I can become someone like her who can compete at the highest levels.
She notes that the level of sparring she has in her club, which consists primarily of recreational players, is one of the challenges she faces in her training. She is contemplating a training period in Europe or Asia, just like the majority of her contemporaries do.
“There are not a lot of people who compete on the international level in my club. It is therefore quite challenging for me because, strictly speaking, I am the only one. “I’m just essentially alone myself the majority of the time, so sometimes I kind of doubt myself on what I’m doing,” she adds. “So sometimes I kind of question myself on what I’m doing.”
“When I was younger, I had my training in a region of China that is now a province. My experience with workouts like that has led me to assume that they accelerated not just my rate of improvement but also my ascent to higher levels of competition… I really hope that I’ll soon be able to train overseas, where I’ll have access to greater competition. My goals are to improve my skills, take first place in more competitions, and play at a higher level.
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