by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Occupying the top spot in the draw, she overcame the left handed, shake-hands grip fast attaching style of Japan’s Kasumi Ishikawa, the no.2 seed.
In a hard fought contest, Feng Tianwei prevailed in six games (12-10, 6-11, 11-9, 5-11, 11-8, 11-9), an engagement that was very much in the balance after the end of the fourth game; the Singaporean stout in character, resisted the challenge of her spirited Japanese adversary, to emerge successful.
Success for Feng Tianwei and it very much reversed recent trends in contests between the two players.
Notably in 2014 in the Women’s Team event at the 17th Asian Games, coincidentally staged in Incheon, Kasumi Ishikawa had emerged successful at the semi-final stage of the Women’s Team event. More recently in the bronze medal fixture in the Women’s Team competition at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, it had been success for Kasumi Ishikawa.
“Before the match, I felt very nervous but very excited at the same time to be reaching the Women´s Singles final. I am just happy I could win! For me the feeling for the new ball is very good and I like it, maybe this way I have a chance for the World title! At the moment I don’t practise with the national team in Singapore although I live there. I am practising in different clubs and with different private sparring partners, sometimes I even go to China for training.” Feng Tianwei
However, I doubt there are any great conclusions to be drawn, but of their now 15 meetings in World ranking events, of which ten have been won by Feng Tianwei, only once has Kasumi Ishikawa beaten Feng Tianwei when it has been a best of seven games contest. At the GAC Group 2013 Asian Cup, she emerged successful in their quarter-final duel.
In Incheon it was the tenth time that Kasumi Ishikawa has appeared in an ITTF World Tour Women’s Singles final; she has now finished in runners up spot on four occasions; for Feng Tianwei, it was her 16th appearance in the gold medal contest; she has now been crowned champion on nine occasions