By Neha Aggarwal
Finals of all the six events will be played today starting at 10:00am local time.
Men’s Singles: Ma Long vs Fan Zhendong
2016 Olympic Champion Ma Long is aiming to win his fifth World Tour Grand Finals title, having previously won in 2015, 2011, 2009 and 2008. The match is a repeat of the 2015 finals where Ma Long won the title defeating Fan Zhendong in a breathtaking final that went on to seven games, with the score of 11-9 in the final game.
Fan Zhendong, who won the 2016 Table Tennis Star Point Award at the ITTF Star Awards, has 84% wins this year, however Ma Long leads with 89% wins. Head to head, both the players have played nine times, and Ma Long leads 8-1! The only time that the 19-year old won was the finals of the 2016 China Open where he thrashed Ma Long 4-0 to win the championship. This was also the last time they met at the international arena.
Expect the match no less than a roller coaster ride as both the players are in explosive mode in Doha and thus past statistics seems irrelevant.
Match time: 3:15pm local time; 12:15pm GMT
Women’s Singles: Han Ying vs Zhu Yuling
Han Ying has already created history by becoming the first German and the first European to reach the final round of the World Tour Grand Finals, and the 33- year old defender is undoubtedly aiming to convert this into winning this prestigious title. Although the world number eight has 68% wins this year as compared to Zhu Yuling’s 76%, she is fearlessly consistent in this particular tournament.
Zhu Yuling, the current world number four, is the most successful player in the Chinese Super League with 24:2 win loss ratio, a fact that is threatening to any of her opponents. Both the players have played each other twice in the past, Zhu Yuling winning on both the occasions. She is very consistent in her attacks as compared to Han Ying’s consist defense, and thus Han Ying will have to put in more than 100% effort today to emerge victorious.
Match Time: 2:30pm local time; 11:30am GMT.
The U-21 Women’s singles finals will be played between eighth seed Doo Hoi Kem (HKG) and third seed Hina Hayata (JPN) battling out for the crown. Doo Hoi Ken earned her place in the finals through hard previous encounters, she both quarter finals and semi finals in full seven games contest while Hina Hayata upstaged her Japanese colleagues to the race to the finals.
Both the players have contested each other twice previously, and they level 1-1. Hina has a 71% wins this season and despite being on the road playing the World Junior Championship and now the Grand Finals, she refuses to show any tiredness and is determined to get home the gold for Japan. Doo Hoi Kem, who beat world number two Liu Shiwen earlier this year in the Asia Olympic qualification tournament, has had an incredible year and will be raring to win the final tournament of the season as no player from Hong Kong as ever won the U-21 Women’s singles title.
Match time: 10:00am local time; 7:00am GMT
The U-21 Men’s singles will be next between Liao Cheng-Ting (TPE) and Yuto Muramatsu (JPN). The 20-year old Japanese is the current world number three in U-21 Men’s singles and is a defender with impressive consistency on the table. Both the opponents have never played against each other and expect the game to be a thriller- a classic attack versus defense match with long rallies.
Match time: 11:00am local time; 8:00am GMT
Women’s doubles will be played between the solid pair of Doo Hoi Kem/Lee Ho Ching (HKG) and Yui Hamamoto/Hina Hayata (JPN) while the Men’s doubles will be against Masataka Morizono/Yuya Oshima (JPN) and Jeoung Youngsik/Lee Sangsu (KOR) in the afternoon session.
Some very exciting matches are up, don’t miss a single point, catch all the action LIVE on tv.ittf.com