by Simon Daish
New Partner, Champion Yet Again
Chen Xingtong once again emerged from the Women’s Doubles competition with a win; last year she partnered Li Jiayi to gold medal success in Budapest and one year on she has reached the top step of the podium with Sun Yingsha.
Just three games were required for Chen Xingtong and Sun Yingsha in the final as the third seeds accounted for fellow compatriots Chen Ke and Wang Manyu (14-12, 11-8, 11-8) to hand China its first trophy of the day.
“I performed much better than I did yesterday, I’m very happy to take the title. We played very strong at every key moment which made the difference.” Chen Xingtong
Qualifying Partnership Misses Out On Dream Title Win
There was to be no dream finale to the Men’s Doubles event for Pavel Platonov and Vladimir Samsonov as the unseeded Belarusian duo were restricted to a runner up finish in Budapest.
The sixth seeded pairing of Fan Zhendong and Yu Ziyang, both former World Junior champions, came through the final in straight games (11-5, 11-5, 11-4) to win their first title as a team. Despite losing out at the final hurdle, the Belarusians leave Budapest happy with their outstanding silver medal finish.
“We had a great tournament here in Budapest. We’re happy with the silver medal obviously; if we had made a little bit of a better start then it could have been different but they proved to be a bit too strong today. Congratulations to them!” Pavel Platonov
Defeat In Riva del Garda, Opposite Outcome In Budapest
Wang Manyu was crowned Women’s Singles champion on the final day of play in Budapest, defeating Sun Yingsha in the title contest.
The previous meeting between the two players came at the 2017 World Junior Championships in Riva del Garda where Sun Yingsha earned a tight seven games victory, but on this occasion it was Wang Manyu who triumphed in the deciding game (9-11, 11-6, 10-12, 11-8, 9-11, 11-8, 11-4) to win her second Women’s Singles gold medal on the ITTF World Tour.
“I am very very happy about winning the title here in Budapest… I was very good at reading her serves throughout the match and I was able to come back many times into the match because today I felt very strong mentally.” Wang Manyu
Brave Effort From First-Time Finalist, But Experience Prevails
Bringing the tournament to a close was the highly anticipated Men’s Singles final which saw top seed Fan Zhendong and qualifying star Wang Chuqin go head-to-head for the title.
Appearing in his first ever final on the ITTF World Tour stage, Wang Chuqin put up a very respectable fight especially in games two and four but in the end it was Fan Zhendong who came away with the win (11-6, 9-11, 11-7, 14-12, 11-3) a day prior to his 21st birthday.
“I was expecting a very hard match at a high level, both of us played very well. I managed to win the important fourth game and I took the momentum from it. It’s a very good start to the year and a nice way to celebrate my birthday.” Fan Zhendong