2000 Four Star Southern Open
Big crowds watch the Finals
David Zhuang forced to retire from Open Fnals with Fan YiYong due to injury
This year's Southern Open for the first time featured the new 40mm ball. There is mixed emotion among the players regarding this change. Sue Canup describes it as "playing with a beach ball" compared to the traditional 38mm one. This does not mean she won't use it, or play with it, just that it IS different. So different that top players who have spent their entire lives training with the traditional ball have difficulty handling the new one.
With this in mind, some of the top players have stayed away from tournaments that feature the 40mm. The Southern Open featured 4 of the top 12 players in the US on the men's side. However, the women's side was sorely lacking. As a matter of fact, there was more than an 800 point difference in the rating of the top man and the top woman. A sad story indeed.
As expected Fan YiYong (US #1) and David Zhuang (US #3) made it to the finals to face each other. Along the way, there were some great matches and points involving Razvan Cretu, Atunda Musa, Barney Reed, Abass Ekun, Viktor Subonj, Shao Yu, and Taju Oshodi. With 154 entries, this ranked as one of the largest fields ever. A crowd of about 200 watched the Finals.
It was most unfortunate that at 22-22 in the third, and one game apiece, David sustained a match ending injury. It does not however, diminish his effort or what a great tournament the 2000 Southern Open ended up being!
Zhuang wins point in Finals (video) Fan returns the favor (video)
1/4 Final Spectators
Tournament Director -
Referee - Terry Canup
Deputy Referee - Scott Ryan
Chief Umpire - Grady Gordon
Control Desk Staff
Elaine (Hui) Mayer
Facilities Manager - Roberto Byles