by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Arguably the more powerful player, Chen Meng captured the first game, she made the better start, she was never behind but the decision was only reached by the minimal two point margin.
Rapid fire exchanges with the forehand top spin strokes executed by Chen Xingtong potent, ever warming to the occasion; she secured the second game as Chen Meng made errors in the latter stages. The third game very much followed the pattern of the second, close at the start, level at 5-all, before the Chen Xingtong forehand moved into an extra gear.
It was very little different in the fourth game, only the decision went to Chen Meng.
Once again in the fifth game, there was little to choose at the start; Chen Xingtong established a 6-4 lead, at top speed she accelerated to 10-6, securing the game at the first opportunity. Positive, Chen Xingtong won the first two points of the sixth game, Chen Meng responded, she went ahead 8-4, at 10-7 she held three game points; at the second attempt she converted; thus a seventh game beckoned.
Fast close to the table exchanges, no player able to gain more than a one point advantage until from 4-all, after changing ends Chen Xingtong went ahead 6-4; Chen Meng called “Time Out”.
Quite amazingly with nothing to choose between the two players in the first eight points of the seventh game, Chen Xingtong won seven in row to seal the contest.
“I’ve lost too many matches in seven games, today was good to win; playing my forehand, not fast but with a lot of spin worked. Today I was quickly into the rhythm of the match; maybe I’m a little faster than Chen Meng but she is more powerful and good at everything.” Chen Xingtong
A fine effort, Cheng Xingtong is a name to note.