15 Nov 2016

Testing times but Ding Ning, the Rio 2016 Olympic champion, emerged successful in round nine of the Chinese Super League on Sunday 13th November, as Beijing beat Anxin by three matches to one to keep their title challenge alive.

The concern for Ding Ning was that she would be an embarrassment to her colleagues; it was quite the reverse, she emerged successful in two full distance five games duels.

by Henry Chen  

She beat Liu Gaoyang (4-11, 11-5, 8-11, 11-5, 7-4) and Liu Shiwen (11-8, 20-18, 4-11, 7-2) to prove the mainstay of her team’s success.

The one further win for Beijing came from Sheng Dandan in the opening match of the fixture when she overcame Liu Shiwen (11-9, 8-11, 11-8, 9-11, 8-6); the one win for Anxin was secured in the doubles when Feng Yalan and Liu Gaoyang accounted for Li Jiayuan and Sheng Dandan (11-13, 11-9, 11-7).

“My teammates performed so well. I couldn’t embarrass them”, Ding Ning

Two wins for Ding Ning were as her status anticipated, presently she stands at the top of the Women’s World Rankings; the surprise was the performance of Sheng Dandan beating Liu Shiwen in the opening contest.

“I give myself 110 points for my performance today.” Sheng Dandan

Notably, Sheng Dandan is a player we rarely see on the international scene; she has made only three career appearances on the ITTF World Tour, her best effort being in 2013 in Poland when being beaten in the Women’s Singles final by Korea’s Suh Hyowon.

 “Sheng Dandan definitely gave our team a good head start; her fighting spirit infected me and made me want to show a good performance as well”, Ding Ning

The surprise win recorded by Sheng Dandan was a major boost and to some extent reduced the pressure on the shoulders of Ding Ning who found Liu Gaoyang, the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games gold medallist, a most worthy adversary.

Maybe Ding Ning was not at her best but credit must be given to the 20 year old.

 “My performance was not very good. I did not have good motivation and enthusiasm. Liu Gaoyang had a very fierce mental condition. I was not very quick in getting the right momentum. Fortunately, I was able to recover in the end”, Ding Ning

A hard fought win against Liu Gaoyang, it was the same against Liu Shiwen; the second game in particular being a quite titanic duel, one that saw standards rise.

“At the time, we were tied in 18-18. I felt that I was able to play out my level”, Ding Ning

Two wins for Ding Ning, alas for Liu Shiwen for the first time in this year’s China Super League it was two defeats.

“The problem why I lost two matches today was my physical condition. I hope that I will be able to adjust my condition as soon as possible in this short period of rest”, Liu Shiwen.

A short break, the Chinese Super League resumes on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th November.

Sunday 13th November: Latest Super League Results

Sunday 13th November: Latest Super League Team Positions

Sunday 13th November: Latest Super League Averages

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