30 Apr 2017

At number five in our countdown of the Top 10 moments of World Championships, we present to you the comeback queen Ding Ning, who stunned the world with her unimaginable win despite an agonizing injured ankle in the Women's Singles finals against Liu Shiwen in 2015 in Suzhou.

By Neha Aggarwal

It wasn’t just another final of the World Championships, it was a match for which Ding Ning could be awarded a medal applauding her bravery, her determination and her mental tenacity.

Well, for the World Champion of 2015, Ding Ning, it was probably one of the most dramatic matches ever. And for her fans, oh certainly yes.

The evening of Saturday 2nd May 2015 was set up for the Women’s Singles final, Ding Ning versus Liu Shiwen.

The match started with Liu Shiwen’s commanding game. However, after losing the first game 7-11, the world no.1 Ding Ning raced ahead of Liu Shiwen with a sudden 3-1 lead. Liu Shiwen would not give up, she levelled the game to 3-3, and then both the players played one of the most nerve wracking finals ever.

In the deciding game, Liu Shiwen lead 1-0. The second point of the match is why we are here. After a series of counter topspins, Ding Ning found herself locked returning Liu Shiwen’s topspin placed in the middle of the table. Ding Ning quickly flexed having faith in her limbs. But in the next moment, my hear skipped a beat.

Ding Ning stumbled, and twisted her right ankle so badly that she could not move an any further, she lay on the ground holding the injured ankle in a call of rush for help.

After a 10 minute medical time-out, the injured yet determined Ding Ning, with a taped ankle, stormed back on the table. The world thought she would eventually give up. Liu Shiwen was the most perplexed. What did she need to do to capitalize on Ding Ning’s injury?

The crowd was amazed, they could not help but applaud Ding Ning’s every move.

She proved to be the better off. She stood right in the middle of the table covering both flanks with a powerful first few balls and placed the balls at angles that gave Liu Shiwen a run for her life. Ding Ning raced into an 8-6 lead when another drama arose. A time out was called!

Not losing heart, Liu Shiwen managed to come close at 8-9 but after that, there was no stooping Ding Ning.

The 2011 World Champion Ding Ning won the match 11-8 and was crowned the world champion, in what was the most dramatic finals we have ever witnessed.

Ding Ning won (7-11, 15-13, 11-7, 11-9, 9-11, 4-11, 11-8).

“I definitely didn’t want to give up since I had come so far,” a relieved Ding told the official Chinese news agency Xinhua afterwards. “I just wanted to give out all my strength in this match. Finally I won the match and I feel that it is just like a dream.”

The Leibherr 2017 World Championship is just a month away and we cannot wait to see such super humans bringing such magically inspiring moments to life. But before that, take a look at the heroine Ding Ning’s supernatural comeback:

Liebherr 2017 World Championships Ding Ning liu shiwen

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