China’s Chen, Fan labour to WTT Singapore Smash singles crowns


All-time leading team China swept five titles on offer at the World Table Tennis (WTT) Singapore Smash after Chen Meng and Fan Zhendong came out the winners in the women’s and men’s singles respectively through seven-game thrillers here on Sunday.

In a head-to-head between the Olympic gold medallist and reigning world champion in the women’s singles final, Tokyo Olympic winner Chen snatched two late points in a row to win the first game 11-9, while Wang Manyu responded by savouring three straight points late in an 11-8 second game win to level the match.

Chen moved ahead again by taking the next two games 11-9 and 11-8, but Wang displayed her resilience to force a deciding game at 11-6, 11-9.

Chen underlined her status early in the seventh game to race ahead 9-4. Despite making a comeback by winning four points in a row, Wang was unable to stop Chen from rolling to the top podium at 11-8, reports Xinhua.

“Both of us have spared no efforts in this match,” said Chen, who has not won a title after the Tokyo Olympics last summer. “I was totally focused on this game without being impacted by any distraction. Both of us racked our brains at the late stages, and I felt the pressure piling up when she inched closer in the seventh game.”

“Without claiming any single title in half a year, I could more or less feel the pressure. Through preparation for this tournament and achieving today’s result, I can say that my effort over this period has paid off,” she added.

For Wang, though it was a close match, she was always in an inferior position of catching up with her opponent.

A similar scenario took place in the men’s singles, as defending world champion Fan and two-time Olympic champion Ma Long put on a highly-anticipated final showdown.

Fan sailed to a 2-0 lead through his powerful backhand, while Ma managed to turn the match in his way afterward, bagging the next three games 11-6, 11-9, and 11-8.

Ma set up a 6-1 lead in the sixth game, only to see Fan bounce back strongly to win 11-8. Then the world No. 1 secured his second title in Singapore with an emphatic 11-7 victory in the seventh game. Fan has claimed the men’s doubles title with Wang Chuqin.

In other categories, Wang Chuqin and Sun Yingsha became the mixed doubles champions, while the women’s doubles title went to Wang Manyu and Sun Yingsha.



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