by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
In common with modern practice, the so called “banana” return of the short service was evident from both pairs from the very start, forearm vertical, wrist used the full to circumnavigate the ball; whoever was the better pair when playing close to the net were distinct favourites.
After both partnerships had opportunities; it was Chen Xingtong and Sun Yingsha who secured the opening game.
One game to the good but in the second game it was Chen Ke and Wang Manyu who made the better start, they went ahead 4-1; however, just as in the first game at the crucial stages, with Sun Yingsha excelling over the table with from the backhand, it was the champions elect who prevailed.
Confident, into a rhythm, in the third game Chen Xingtong and Sun Yingsha established a 5-3 lead; Chen Ke and Wang Manyu callerd “Time Out”. They levelled at 8-all but never gained parity, at 10-8 Chen Xingtong and Sun Yingsha held two match points; they needed just one.
“I’ve performed much better then yesterday, very happy to take the title. We played very strong at every key moment which made the difference.” Chen Xingtong
We played against a very good doubles pair, one of the best in the world. The match was at a very high level; the pressure grew point by point. They handled themselves a bit better then us. Congratulations for them.” Chen Ke
Notably, it was the 138th time out of a possible 298 ITTF World Tour tournaments when a Women’s Doubles event has been staged that a pair representing the People’s Republic of China had emerged successful; furthermore it was the 68th occasion when the country had proved both finalists.
Success for Chen Xingtong and Sun Yingsha; it was their third such victory as a partnership; last year on the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour they had won in Japan and Austria.
Overall for Chen Xingtong it was her fifth ITTF World Tour Women’s Doubles final; in addition to 2017 in Budapest, she had been the runners up spot in harness with Wang Manyu in Australia. Somewhat differently for Sun Yingsha, the only player with whom she has ever reached an ITTF World Tour Women’s Doubles final is with Chen Xingtong.
Meanwhile, for Chen Ke and Wang Manyu it was their second appearance as a partnership in an ITTF World Tour Women’s Doubles final. In 2014, they had won in Korea.
Prior to the duel in Budapest, it was the only occasion when Chen Ke had reached such a final; for Wang Manyu, in addition to partnering Chen Xingtong to runners up spot last year in Australia, she won in conjunction with colleague Chen Meng earlier in the year in Qatar.