RT Banner 2021V4.gif

China Daily

News> Sports> Content
Sunday, November 22, 2020, 12:09
China secures ITTF Finals men's and women's singles top spots
By Xinhua
Sunday, November 22, 2020, 12:09 By Xinhua

Fan Zhendong of China celebrates scoring during the men's singles semifinal match against Jang Woo-jin of South Korea at the 2020 ITTF Finals in Zhengzhou, capital of central China's Henan province, Nov 21, 2020. (LI AN / XINHUA)

ZHENGZHOU - China secured the men's and women's singles top spots at the ITTF Finals, as the world's top-placed Fan Zhendong and his compatriot Ma Long both advanced to the men's final while Chen Meng and Wang Manyu both knocked out their components in the semifinals here on Saturday.

Fan was one match away from defending his title after defeating South Korean Jang Woo-jin 11-8, 11-4, 13-15, 11-8, 11-5.

Jang had a wonderful campaign in the year-end table tennis competition, outlasting Japanese teenager Tomokazu Harimoto and China's Lin Gaoyuan before reaching the final four. 

Jang Woojin of South Korea returns the ball during the men's singles semifinal match against China's Fan Zhendong at the 2020 ITTF Finals in Zhengzhou, capital of central China's Henan province, Nov 21, 2020. (LIU JUNXI / XINHUA)

However, like the World Cup semifinals one week ago, Fan proved too strong for the South Korean to overcome. 

"The first game was crucial to my victory today. I felt the pressure from my opponent," Fan said.

"Jang showed better form compared with the World Cup, and built his momentum after consecutively knocking out strong players. He had some changes when I led in the match, and I just tried my best to catch up with him," the top seed added.

Ma Long of China returns the ball during the men's singles semifinal match against compatriot Xu Xin at the 2020 ITTF Finals in Zhengzhou, capital of central China's Henan province, Nov 21, 2020. (LIU JUNXI / XINHUA)

In an eye-catching semifinal between two veterans, Ma lost the opening game against Xu Xin 13-11, before bouncing back to pocket the following four games 11-9, 11-9, 11-8 and 11-7.

READ MORE: Ma, Xu set up semis clash, Ito keeps alive at ITTF Finals

"It was a tough battle. After losing the first game, I tried to keep calm and refocus myself on the match. As you play such a high-quality opponent such as Xu, it is quite normal losing one or two games," Ma said.

"Recently I have lost to Fan twice in the final. I hope to challenge the world No. 1 tomorrow," he added. 

Chen Meng of China celebrates after winning a point during the women's singles semifinal match against compatriot Sun Yingsha at the 2020 ITTF Finals in Zhengzhou, capital of central China's Henan province, Nov 21, 2020. (WANG DONGZHEN / XINHUA)

Over at the women's semifinals, Chen and compatriot Sun Yingsha shared the spoils in their previous four meetings on international stage. 

Chen gained an upper hand at an early stage, going ahead with two straight points after a 9-9 tie in the opening game.

Chen continued her momentum to pocket the next three games at 11-8, 11-8, 12-10.

ALSO READ: World No 1 Chen Meng crowned at ITTF Women's World Cup

"It's our third encounter in recent days, and mentally I have some edges over her as I won our previous two meetings," said Chen.

"I expected it to be a tough match. Despite a lop-sided victory, I thought in every game there were some crucial points and I was quite lucky to go through," she added.

"I had some chances, while failing to show my character today," Sun lamented.

Wang Manyu of China returns the ball during the women's singles semifinal match against Ito Mima of Japan at the 2020 ITTF Finals in Zhengzhou, capital of central China's Henan province, Nov 21, 2020. (LI JIANAN / XINHUA)

Leading 8-2 over Mima Ito in head-to-heads, Wang finished her job in a dominant fashion, shrugging off Japan's Mima Ito 11-3, 11-4, 11-9 and 11-6.

"Winning four straight games today is attributed to my long-time preparation for playing Ito during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to my effort during this period," Wang said.For Wang, she has a big gap from Chen, who boasts a favorable form by just winning the World Cup.

"I hope to learn from her and play this match point by point," Wang said.  

Mima Ito of Japan serves during the women's singles semifinal match against China's Wang Manyu at the 2020 ITTF Finals in Zhengzhou, capital of central China's Henan province, Nov 21, 2020. (WANG DONGZHEN / XINHUA)


Share this story

CHINA DAILY
HONG KONG NEWS
OPEN
Please click in the upper right corner to open it in your browser !