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Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Second Women’s Doubles Title in the Space of Seven Days for Singapore Duo

One title each to their credit on the ITTF Pro Tour was the scenario for both pairs contesting the Womenís Singles final at the Liebherr German Open in Bayreuth on Sunday 12th November 2006.

The Japanese duo of Ai Fukuhara and Ai Fujinuma had won gold at the TMS Chinese Taipei Open in June 2006, whilst more recently, Li Jia Wei and Sun Bei Bei had won at the Eurosib St Pertersburg Open seven days earlier.
Li Jia Wei and Sun Bei Bei the Women's Doubles champions in Bayreuth
One fact was certain before the final began, one team would add to their tally of titles and that team proved to be Li Jia Wei and Sun Bei Bei.

They won 11-5, 11-6, 6-11, 13-11, 10-12, 12-10.

Good Start
In the first game it was the duo from Singapore who assumed the ascendancy, they won the opening game 11-5 and in the second game made the better start. They went ahead 3-1.

Throughout the early stages Li Jia Wei served with the forehand and of course, she always served short. Earlier in the day, in her Womenís Singles semi-final duel against Ai Fukuhara, she had always served with the backhand. Surely, in doubles, if she served with the backhand, used the reversed rubber side on the racket, she would give Sun Bei Bei more room to play?

It did seem a little strange that a serving technique that she never uses in singles matches was used throughout in the doubles contest.

Worked
Whatever the reason, it worked. Perhaps she felt confident that she could keep the service short with backspin. Li Jia Wei and Sun Bei Bei won the second game as comfortably as they had won the first.

In both the first and second games Li Jia Wei and Sun Bei Bei had established an early lead, undoubtedly this had added to their confidence. However, in the early stages of the third game neither team could establish a lead until the score reached 5-all; he stage at which Ai Fukuhara and Ai Fujinuma won three points in row and went on to win the game 11-6.

Similar
The start of the fourth game was simlar to the start of the third. Neither pair could establish an advantage until the score reached 4-all when the Singapore duo clinched the next two points.

However, Ai Fukuhra and Ai Fujinuma recovered to 7-6 prompting a Singapore `Time Outí. The break worked in favour of the Japanese who won the next two points by being the superior pair over the table to move ahead 8-7 prompting a change of plan from Li Jia Wei. She served using her backhand and promptly lost the point!

Tense
The next two points were shared and then the next two both went the way of Singapore, it was 10-all. A squeal from Ai Fukuhara signalled the winner of the next point; Li Jia Wei returned to the forehand method of serving and the game point was duly saved. It was a crucial stage of the match, the Japanese camp realised this fact and called `Time Outí.

Earlier in the game the Singaporean `Time Outí had gone in favour of Japan, now the Japanese `Time Outí went in favour of Singapore. Li Jia Wei and Sun Bei Bei won the next two points.

Short Points
In the fifth game, Li Jia Wei played towards Ai Fukuhara; at every opportunity she tried to play with heavy topspin into the backhand of the Japanese teenager, the exact same tactic that had proved successful in the Womenís Singles semi-final earlier in the day.

It worked half the time, Ai Fukuhara took heart in hand, she never blocked, she attacked; some went on, some didnít.

The points were brief, few rallies with the two teams level at 7-all. Serving from all four players was executed in deliberate mode, the score moved to 8-all; then Li Jia Wei and Sun Bei Bei won the next two points.

Match Points Saved
Two match points, a fast forehand flick from Ai Fukuhara saved the first and when a Sun Bei Bei forehand topspin finished in the base of the net, it was parity. The next point went to Kapan when a heavy forehand topspin from Ai Fujinuma was blocked off the end of the table by Li Jia Wei.

The Japanese duo was now more positive and when a Sun Bei Bei backhand finished in the base of the net it was game to Japan.

Tension
The sixth game was tense, the Singapore had missed an opportunity, the Japanese duo had a glimmer of hope and at 7-4 the latter pairing was progressing tentatively forward. They maintained their three point lead at 9-6 but then lost the next three points as Sun Bei Bei and Li Jia Wei played more positively.

The next two points were shared, then fortune for Singapore, a return from Sun Bei Bei hit the top of the net, trickled over, un-returnable; match point again and this time converted with the best stroke of the match.

Li Jia Wei unleashed a rapier like backhand topspin across the table and it was game over; for the second consecutive week, Li Jia Wei and Sun Bei Bei were champions on the ITTF Pro Tour,



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Archive
Date Title
11/12/2006 Timo Boll Thrills the Crowds in Bayreuth
11/12/2006 Patrick Chila and Werner Schlager on the Knife Edge as they Win in Bayreuth
11/12/2006 Wang Yue Gu Avenges Defeat of One Week Earlier by Succeeding in Bayreuth
11/12/2006 Timo Boll Recovers from the Brink of Defeat to Win Classic Final in Bayreuth
11/12/2006 Second Women’s Doubles Title in the Space of Seven Days for Singapore Duo
11/12/2006 Top Seeds Through at Liebherr German Open
11/12/2006 Hou Yingchao Continues to Mesmerise as he Succeeds at the Penultimate Stage
11/12/2006 Timo Boll Duly Obliges as the Crowd in Bayreuth Celebrates a Semi-Final Success
11/12/2006 Wang Yue Gu Progresses in the Right Direction and Moves to the Final in Style
11/12/2006 Li Jia Wei Beats Ai Fukuhara to Reach the Women’s Singles Final in Bayreuth
11/11/2006 Further Seeds Fall in Bayreuth
11/11/2006 Taku Takakiwa and Li Qian Win the Under 21 Titles at the Liebherr German Open
11/11/2006 European Champion Ends the Progress of the Number Three Seed in Bayreuth
11/11/2006 Second Seed Departs as the Wizard of Spin Conjures A New Potion
11/11/2006 Aleksandar Karakasevic Moves One Stage Better in Bayreuth than in Magdeburg
11/11/2006 Laura Stumper Maintains her Form to Keep German Hope Alive
11/11/2006 Top Seeds Through but Giant Killers Exit
11/11/2006 A Brave Display as German Teenager’s Progress is Ended by Robert Gardos
11/11/2006 Another Day, Another Place and it’s Better News for Trinko Keen
11/10/2006 Amazing Result Causes a Mathematical Headache at the Liebherr German Open
11/10/2006 Ma Wenge in Vintage Style Progresses to the Third Round in Bayreuth
11/10/2006 Table One Spells Doom For Men’s Seeds
11/10/2006 Keeping Thing Simple, Shan Xiao Na Advances to the Third Round in Bayreuth
11/10/2006 Fourth Seed Departs as German Teenager Rises to the Occasion in Bayreuth
11/10/2006 Guo Keli Ends the Progress of Third Seed, Werner Schlager, in Opening Round
11/10/2006 Laura Stumper Stops the Show in Bayreuth as she Wins Titanic Struggle
11/10/2006 Irina Palina Demonstrates in Bayreuth that her Undoubted Skills are as Sharp as Ever
11/10/2006 Umpires with a Special Talent on Duty at the Liebherr German Open
11/9/2006 Germany’s Next Generation Makes Progress
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11/9/2006 Josef Simoncik Checks Jun Mizutani’s Progress at Liebherr German Open
11/9/2006 A Taste of Success for Germany and a Taste of Table Tennis for Local Children
11/8/2006 According to Plan on the Opening Day in the Men’s Singles Event in Bayreuth
11/8/2006 Debutants Raise Eyebrows in Bayreuth
11/8/2006 Outstanding Technique Brings Success for Li Qian on her ITTF Pro Tour Debut
11/8/2006 First Time and the First to Qualify in Bayreuth
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11/7/2006 Only_Chinese
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11/7/2006 Liebherr German Open Attracts Large Entry to the Oberfrankenhalle in Bayreuth
11/7/2006 Only_Chinese
10/11/2006 SCHEDULE
8/27/2006 Deadlines for entries in Germany
11/13/2005 Sporting Gesture
11/13/2005 Sportsmanship
11/13/2005 Fifth Title in 2005 For Hong Kong Pairing
11/13/2005 First Encounter, Third Title
11/13/2005 Technical Excellence
11/13/2005 Not Germany’s Day
11/13/2005 Cool, Calm & Collected
11/13/2005 Repeat Success
11/13/2005 Reversal
11/13/2005 The Miss Never Missed
11/12/2005 Hat-Trick & Successful Debut
11/12/2005 Great Day For Germany
11/12/2005 Germany’s Day
11/12/2005 Next Generation
11/12/2005 Qualifier Defeats Olympic Champion
11/12/2005 Fighting Yourself
11/12/2005 Believe
11/12/2005 Spin & Win
11/12/2005 Brick Wall
11/11/2005 German Star Excels On Home Soil
11/11/2005 Back With Avengeance
11/11/2005 Responding To The Situation
11/11/2005 Maximum Maksim
11/11/2005 Maximum Concentration
11/11/2005 Rejuvenated
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11/11/2005 New Identity
11/11/2005 Impressive Iberians
11/10/2005 Full of Promise
11/10/2005 Singing In The Valleys
11/10/2005 Patience Is A Virtue
11/10/2005 A Rewarding Morning
11/9/2005 Globetrotter
11/9/2005 A Similar Style?
11/9/2005 Magdeburg, A Sporting City
11/9/2005 Largest Entry Ever
11/8/2005 Large Numbers in Magdeburg
11/7/2005 A Step Nearer Fuzhou
9/5/2005 Deadlines for entries
7/12/2005 Entries
11/14/2004 Unforgettable Final
11/14/2004 First Singles Title Of The Year
11/14/2004 Moving Up The Gears
11/14/2004 Adding To Their Collection
11/14/2004 German Star Gains Revenge
11/14/2004 World Cup Defeat Reversed
11/13/2004 Vive La France
11/13/2004 Past Performances Count For Nought
11/13/2004 Top Seed Asserts Her Authority
11/13/2004 Exit For Second Seed
11/13/2004 Parisien Progress
11/13/2004 Third Seed Falls
11/13/2004 One Point At A Time
11/13/2004 Smiles In Defeat
11/12/2004 Double Trouble For Austrians
11/12/2004 Number One Seed Beaten
11/12/2004 German Duo Raise The Roof
11/12/2004 Underlining The Reasons
11/12/2004 Success For Hosts
11/12/2004 In Control
11/11/2004 German Teenager’s Progress Continues
11/11/2004 Welshman Impresses
11/11/2004 Japanese Teenagers Excel
11/11/2004 Experience Told
11/11/2004 Tough To Qualify
11/10/2004 Top Seeded Chinese
11/10/2004 Good Reasons For Leipzig
11/4/2004 Volkswagen German Open - Important Information
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11/9/2003 Wang Liqin the strongest
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11/9/2003 A fast breakfast
11/8/2003 Discussions on service
11/8/2003 Support was not enough
11/8/2003 Chinese all over
11/8/2003 Too fast for Rosskopf
11/8/2003 Consolation for Schlager
11/8/2003 Chinese taking over
11/7/2003 Schlager still not on top
11/7/2003 Marathon match
11/7/2003 Boll goes home with fever
11/7/2003 Favourites falling
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11/6/2003 Swedes withdrawn
11/6/2003 Stars through qualification
10/28/2003 Rallying for Guangzhou
18/09/2003 Deadlines for entries
11/09/2003 Welcome to Bremen !
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20/10/2002 Samsonov Absorbs the Onslaught
20/10/2002 Ma Lin in Control
20/10/2002 Fan Ying Weaves Her Web of Spin
20/10/2002 Skill Secures Semi-Final Success
19/10/2002 Time Up For Timo
19/10/2002 It’s All The Same To Me
19/10/2002 Spirit, Intelligence and Concentration
19/10/2002 Looking High, High, High
19/10/2002 Knife Edge Wins For Tasaki & Saive
19/10/2002 One Match At A Time
19/10/2002 Defensive test
18/10/2002 Victory but at a Price
18/10/2002 Down To Earth
18/10/2002 A Klasek Performance
18/10/2002 Mihaela’s Misery
18/10/2002 Torres The Toreador
18/10/2002 A Sense of Inevitability
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17/10/2002 A Table Tennis Feast In The East
11/10/2002 The top goes to Magdeburg
11/10/2002 German Open without Rossie
Cathedral City on the Elbe
1 Euro=0,9789 US$