by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
A fearsome forehand against a delightful backhand was the order of proceedings, the former attribute being possessed by Feng Tianwei, the latter by Tie Yana.
The backhand of Tie Yana, sometimes executed with a degree of risk when forced away from the table delighted the crowd but it was the power of exerted by Feng Tianwei that won the day.
She won the first game, lost the next, before winning the third and fourth, prior to establishing a 9-8 lead in the fifth. Tie Yana elected for “Time Out” but the decision was not to bear fruit; on her second match point, Feng Tianwei succeed; third place was secured.
Notably, the contest in Philadelphia was the 13th occasion when Feng Tianwei and Tie Yana had met on the international scene; prior to the duel in the Liacouras Center, Feng Tianwei had emerged successful on nine occasions, the first being in their initial meeting in 2007 at the Liebherr French Open.
However, more pertinent was the fact that the Singaporean had prevailed in their two most recent meetings in style. At the GAC Group 2015 Polish Open, she had emerged successful in four straight games; earlier this year at the Nakheel 2016 Asian Cup in Dubai, it had been the same margin of victory.
In Philadelphia it was the same as in Poland as in Dubai.
It was the eighth time that Tie Yana had appeared in the bronze medal match at a Women’s World Cup; it was the fifth time she had experienced defeat; for Feng Tianwei, it was the sixth occasion, the third success.