The Women’s Singles title at the Liebherr Croatian Open went the way of Hong Kong’s TIE Yana, she beat SUN Bei Bei in the final in straight games to end any hopes that the Singapore player might have had of winning gold in only her second ever ITTF Pro Tour event.
TIE Yana Women's Singles Champion
SUN Bei Bei is a new name on the international scene. Born in Zibo near Jinan in Shandong Province, about an hour’s flight from Beijing, she moved to Singapore six months ago. Twenty years old, a right handed attacking player, she uses reversed rubber on both sides of the racket, topspins from both wings, is particularly strong at following her service with a quick attack and is very consistent with the backhand.
Good Performance “She played well in the tournament”, said Singaporean coach ZHI Leishen. “Perhaps, in the final she used the wrong tactics but she has virtually no international experience.”
Undoubtedly that made a difference for the player who had finished in runners up spot in the Women’s Singles but had lost in the Preliminary Round of the Under 21 Women’s Singles to Spain’s Galia DVORAK; a fine performance by DVORAK but perhaps it should be taken into consideration that SUN Bei Bei played in the Under 21 Women’s Singles almost immediately after having beaten Renata Strbikova of the Czech Republic in the second round of the Women’s Singles.
Fourth Title Meanwhile, for TIE Yana it was the fourth Women’s Singles title of her career on the ITTF Pro Tour. In 2002 she had won in Korea, the following year in Brazil and last year in Russia at the Eurosib St Petersburg Open.
“I didn’t feel any pressure today”, said TIE Yana who had dominated the final from the beginning. “I played better as the tournament progressed”, she continued. “I wasn’t so good in my first two matches, SUN Bei Bei plays very safely and she’s good when playing over the table and near the net; however I won and I’m very happy.”
A qualifier winning a singles title on the ITTF Pro Tour didn’t happen; in fact I don’t think it’s ever happened. The last players to achieve that distinction in a major open international tournament, as far as I know occurred in 1994 in Sweden, when both the Men’s and Women’s Singles titles were won by competitors who had to play in the Qualification Stage.
The Men’s Singles was won by DING Song and the Women’s Singles by a young lady who showed a great deal of promise and more than a degree of resolve; a player who might just be good in a crisis, WANG Nan.
Women’s Singles Final: TIE Yana (HKG) bt SUN Bei Bei (SIN) 11-7, 11-7, 11-4, 11-8