Jha, Zhang defend US table tennis singles titles

Photo: Dustin Gaffke / CC BY 2.0

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Kanak Jha and Lilly Zhang each won their second straight U.S. national table tennis titles Friday night.

The top-seeded Jha, who went to the Rio Olympics, beat No. 9 seed Nikhil Kumar 11-9, 16-14, 11-3 11-1 in 30 minutes to become the first men's back-to-back champion since Timothy Wang in 2012-13.

Zhang, the top women's seed, defeated her Olympic teammate and No. 2 seed Jennifer Wu 11-5, 11-6, 11-7, 11-9 to win her fourth national singles crown. Zhang, who also won in 2012 and 2014, is only the fourth woman to win four or more national singles crowns.

Jha, 17, of Milpitas, Calif. did not drop a game in the tournament and won his last two tournaments in Argentina last month.

Zhang, 21, of Palo Alto, Calif. was equally flawless the entire tournament and never lost a game in four matches. An Olympian in 2012, Zhang dominated Wu, 27, of New York, with blistering groundstroke winners.

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