Ding Ning wins third women's singles title, Chinese duo crowned men's doubles champion

Source:Xinhua Published: 2017/6/5 8:47:09

World No. 1 Ding Ning won her third women's singles title while Xu Xin and Fan Zhendong earned China their second event from the men's doubles at the World Table Tennis Championships here on Sunday.

Ding, also the Olympic champion in Rio, defeated third seeded Chinese compatriot Zhu Yuling 4-2 to became the third Chinese woman player to win a hat trick of world singles title following Deng Yaping and Wang Nan.

The 26-year-old won the first game 11-4 but Zhu, playing her first final in the world championships, pulled two back 11-9, 11-4 for a 2-1 lead.

The two players then displayed a beautiful attacking game. Ding, who won the world title in 2011 and 2015, saved a game point from 9-10, winning three points in a row to make it 2-2.

Zhu, whose only winning record against Ding came in the 2015 China Open final, made too many errors while Ding played steadily and accurately, leading all the way to win 11-6. She went on to take the next game 11-7 to seal the title.

"I came here not expecting to win the World Championships for the third time," Ding said. "It really depended on my state of mind and condition and that of the opponents; different about the third time is that before I felt like I was challenging for the title and trying to defeat others and I am now in the spotlight and others are challenging me."

Xu and Fan defeated the number one seeds Masataka Morizono and Yuya Oshima of Japan 4-1 to win the men's doubles title.

Morizono and Oshima had their chances with multiple game points in the second and fourth game, but were unable to convert any of them. They also narrowly lost the first and the third games 11-9.

Fan, Xu and coach Wang Hao took to the court after the match with a Chinese flag in hand.

"This is my first time winning gold in doubles," Fan said. "I'm very happy and lucky to be here."

In the men's singles quarterfinals, Olympic and world champion Ma Long beat Germany's superstar Timo Boll 4-2 in a thriller.

Boll put up a great show but Ma had all the answers for the 13-time German champion. He won in six games (11-5, 8-11, 11-4, 5-11, 11-4, 11-9).

"This is my toughest match yet in the championship," Ma said. "It's sad that we lost in the doubles and hope this win will be a great match for the table tennis fans to remember."

Ma and Boll had paired up in the doubles but lost in the round of 16 to Fan and Xu.

In the other matches, Lee Sangsu of South Korea secured the first spot in the men's singles semifinals with a 4-1 win over Wong Chun Ting of Hong Kong, China. Fan beat Japan's Niwa Koki 4-1 and Xu ousted Japan's 13-year-old sensation Harimoto Tomokazu with an identical score.

Ma will meet Xu and Lee take on Fan in Monday's semifinals.

Posted in: EYE ON THE BALL

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