TOKYO, Japan — Coming off an unexpected opening 3-0 loss to Laurens Devos of Belgium in his opening matchup of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, Wheelchair Table Tennis legend Tahl Leibovitz had to win his second match to stay relevant at these games and not be sent home empty handed in the class 9 group A bracket.
Standing in the way of this “Tahl order” was Spain’s Juan Perez Gonzalez, the 16th match of the night may have been the sweetest for Leibovitz of the tournament so far.
He was not only dominant in the first and second sets winning each by a score of 11-7, but in the third Perez Gonzalez showed his agility was no match for the U.S. Table Tennis Hall of Famer and three-time medalist Leibovitz.
Looking further into the match, Leibovitz was consistent and speedy. Each of the three sets Tahl was able to finish off Perez Gonzalez in less than 7 minutes each, never going over the 6 minute, 30 second mark.
The longest rally between the two came in the second frame with Leibovitz and Perez Gonzalez going back and forth on a rally that was 14 times in length, eventually being won by the United States Representative.
With the win, Tahl Leibovitz will move on to the Men’s Group 9 quarterfinals to be played Friday at 20:00 (7:00 EST) his opponent is TBD.