by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor and Simon Daish
Success for Chen Xingtong and a major watershed in what was her fifth appearance on the ITTF World Tour and only the second time she had ventured beyond the opening round; her previous being a second round exit in Japan in 2014 when beaten by top seed, Singapore’s Feng Tianwei.
In the past the 19 year old had promised; at the World Junior Championships in 2014 she departed at the quarter-final stage in Shanghai, one year later when the tournament was staged in the French west coast town of La Roche sur Yon it was farewell one round later.
Meanwhile, for Wen Jia, it was her first defeat in an ITTF World Tour Women’s Singles final. Notably she won at the 2011 China Open when the tournament was staged in Shenzhen; two years later she emerged successful in the German capital city of Berlin. A major breakthrough for Chen Xingtong; she has sent a clear message to Kong Linghui, the head coach of the Chinese Women’s Team when he turns his thoughts to selection for the impending Liebherr 2017 World Championships in Düsseldorf.
Progress to the title deciding contest meant that Chen Xingtong became the 42nd player since Yang Ying won in the inaugural tournament in 1996 in England to reach an ITTF World Tour Women’s Singles final; she becomes the 30th winner.
“It was very hard tactically because of constant changes of strategy I had to adapt very quickly point by point and also for the changes in the tempo of the play. Best start of the year for me I am really really happy”, Chen Xingtong.
In Budapest it was the 115th all-Chinese ITTF World Tour Women’s Singles final; the 153rd time in 313 tournaments that China has secured the title.