by Simon Daish
Gu Yuting is appearing in a Women’s Singles final at an ITTF World Tour Platinum competition for the first time.
Beginning her Linz campaign in the two-day qualification tournament, Gu Yuting has claimed major scalps against the likes of Miu Hirano and Hina Hayata in the main event and will be looking to register her third success against a seeded player when she takes to the table in the final.
The other finalist Wang Manyu has also experienced an eventful few days in Linz, and heads into the title match following back-to-back wins against Chen Meng and Sun Yingsha who were seeded first and fourth for the competition respectively.
Appearing in her third ITTF World Tour Women’s Singles final of the year, Wang Manyu will attempt to secure the top step of the medals podium for the first time after missing out in Qatar and Australia.
The two players met in the semi-finals of the Women’s Singles event at the Seamaster 2017 Qatar Open in February with Wang Manyu prevailing on that occasion across five games, but who will emerge as champion in Linz?
On paper Wang Manyu appears to have the slight edge and heading into the final as the seeded competitor, surely the odds are in her favour?
However, Gu Yuting has hit all the right notes so far in Linz and another mature performance from the qualifier could be enough to topple Wang Manyu’s ever consistent game.
“Against Wang Manyu tomorrow, I think I still have to fight point by point, because I’m still at a disadvantageous position playing against her, and I haven’t won against her recently. So I think tomorrow I have to stay positive and be confident about winning and secondly to be well prepared tactically”, Gu Yuting.
The Women’s Singles final is scheduled to take place at 13:30 local time on Sunday 24th September.