by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Chen Xingtong made the better start, in the opening game she made full use of the table creating angles from both the backhand and forehand; there was no gradual progress into a rhythm of play for either player. Life was in the fast lane from the very first point.
A good start for Chen Xingtong and the advantage maintained, it was very much the same in the second and third games, only in the opposite direction. Zhu Yuling, the model of consistency, made the better start and never relinquished the advantage.
Leading by two games to one, the crucial stage of the contest came in the fifth game; first Zhu Yuling held games points on two occasions the first being at 10-9, then 11-10; next at 12-11 and 13-12 there were opportunities for Chen Xingtong before at 15-14, Zhu Yuling converted.
The success turned the momentum in favour of Zhu Yuling; notably Chen Xingtong caused her adversary problems by returning the service with backspin wide to the Zhu Yuling forehand but overall it was Zhu Yuling who was in control.
A place in the final against colleague and doubles partner, moreover against the player who has replaced her in the top spot on the world rankings.
“I really enjoyed tonight’s match. I felt good on court. I’m very happy to be facing Chen Meng in the final, I believe it’s going to be a very exciting match. Our last encounter was very intense and I hope we will play till the seventh game again tomorrow.” Zhu Yuling
Zhu Yuling has more than one reason to be highly motivated!