17 Jun 2017

Required to qualify, not listed amongst the top eight pairs, China’s Chen Xingtong and Sun Yingsha won the Women’s Doubles title at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Platinum Lion Open in Tokyo on the evening of Saturday 17th June.

After having accounted for Japan’s Honoka Hashimoto and Hitomi Sato, the top seeds, at the semi-final stage (10-12, 11-2, 10-12, 11-8, 11-2); they secured the title at the final expense of Korea’s Jeon Jihee and Yang Haeun, the no.2 seeds (10-12, 8-11, 11-3, 11-7, 11-6). In the counterpart penultimate round duel, the Korean duo had accounted for Chinese Taipei’s Chen Szu-Yu and Cheng I-Ching, the no.4 seeds (13-11, 3-11, 11-9, 11-3).

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Jeon Jihee and Yang Haeun secured the first two games, the first game no doubt to some extent having an effect on the second; they had trailed throughout, levelled at 10-all before winning the next two points to seize an early advantage.

In the Chinese view it was no doubt daylight robbery; for the Koreans it gave an injection of confidence. They won the first three points of the second game, never trailed and quickly established a two games to nil lead.

Playing wide to the wings at every opportunity, the Chinese pair being right handers as opposed to the Koreans for whom Jeon Jihee is a left hander and Yang Haeun a right hander, Chen Xingtong and Sun Yingsha recovered to win the third and fourth games.

 “I’m excited we were able to recover from two-nil down to win the Women’s Doubles gold. We were happy to even make it to the final. We met Chen Ke and Wang Manyu earlier, who are actually a stronger pair than us. It’s our first time partnering each other. We communicate a lot with each other; in the future we will be able to adjust more. Now I’m just so excited!” Sun Yingsha

A fifth game beckoned, at the change of ends; the Chinese duo led 5-4, after having won three points in succession. Immediately, the Koreans called “Time Out”. Chen Xingtong and Sun Yingsha extended the lead to 8-4, six points in a row.

Jeon Jihee and Yang Haeun stemmed the tide. They won the next point; Xiao Shan, the Chinese national coach on duty called “Time Out”. It proved a prudent call, they won the next two points, a 10-5 lead; the Koreans saved the first match point, not the second.

 “I think it’s more about mentality. At the start we were more reserved and more hesitant. After trailing two-nil, we had no choice left but to play more strongly.” Chen Xingtong

It was a first for Sun Yingsha, her first ever ITTF World Tour Women’s Doubles title; for Chen Xingtong her second. Earlier this year she had partnered Li Jiayi to success in Hungary.

Meanwhile, for Jeon Jihee and Yang Haeun it was their 14th appearance in an ITTF World Tour Women’s Doubles final; the seventh time they had finished in runners up spot.

World Tour 2017 Seamaster Japan Open Sun Yingsha Yang Haeun Jeon Jihee Xhen Xingtong

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