Ding beats Hirano to secure women's singles title for China, Japan wins mixed doubles

Source:Xinhua Published: 2017/6/4 9:06:58

World No. 1 Ding Ning beat 17-year-old Japanese sensation Miu Hirano 4-1 to secure the women's singles title for China at the World Table Tennis Championships on Saturday.

Japan's Maharu Yoshimura and Kasumi Ishikawa made history after claiming their country's first mixed doubles gold in 48 years. The Japanese pair had a hard match against Chinese Taipei's Chen Chien-An and Cheng I-Ching in front of a capacity crowd.

Yoshimura and Ishikawa, silver medalists two years ago, came from 1-3 down to win the final 8-11, 8-11, 11-8, 10-12, 11-4, 11-9, 11-5.

Ding's victory was a sweet revenge for her shock defeat to Hirano in the Asian Championships quarterfinals in April. She will fight for the title against world No. 3 Zhu Yuling, who edged world No. 2 Liu Shiwen 4-3 in the other semifinal.

Hirano has been regarded as the most dangerous threat to China after beating three Chinese players, including Ding, en route to the Asian crown. Ding opened the competition well, winning the first three sets 11-4, 11-8 and 11-5.

The Japanese World Cup champion fought back with her powerful forehand attacks and pulled one set back.

"Last time in the Asia Championships, I was also ahead but then I lost," said Ding.

"I made full preparation for this match," a jubilant Ding told the audience. "Before the competition, my coach, teammates, and everyone helped me prepare. In terms of techniques and tactics, I really have not changed much. It really just depends on how I perform. I think I was extremely devoted to the competition today."

In the men's singles competition, the 12th seed Vladimir Samsonov of Belarus suffered a surprise exit in the fourth round after he was overpowered by South Korea's Lee Sangsu 4-0.

Samsonov, silver medalist two decades ago when he was beaten by Sweden's Jan-Ove Waldner in the 1997 final in Manchester, went down to Lee 11-9, 11-1, 11-3, 11-9.

"I just tried to find my game; the first game was difficult for both players. After that he played more relaxed. I was missing some easy balls and he was playing very well. Maybe this year I will continue playing, but what will happen after I don't know," Samsonov said.

Local favorite Timo Boll, the eighth seed, beat Portugal's Marcos Freitas 4-1.

The win for Timo Boll means that in the quarterfinals he meets defending champion Ma Long, who overcame Chinese Taipei's Chuang Chih-Yuan, the No. 9 seed, in four straight sets (11-8, 13-11, 11-1, 11-6).

In the same half of the draw, 13-year-old Japanese Tomokazu Harimoto faces the winner of an all-Chinese contest between third-seeded Xu Xin and 33rd-seeded Lin Gaoyuan.

Earlier, Harimoto beat Slovakia's Lubomir Pistej 4-1.

Second seed Fan Zhendong faces the winner of a contest featuring Japan's Koki Niwa and German top player Dimitrij Ovtcharov.

In the morning session, Fan ended the adventure of Germany's Ruwen Filus with a score of 4-2.

The two remaining games in the men's singles fourth round and all the quarterfinals will be played on Sunday.

Posted in: EYE ON THE BALL

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