by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Listed at no.4 on the current world rankings, Feng Tianwei, showed her class and set the standard; she beat a spirited Melissa Tapper in three straight games (11-3, 11-9, 11-7). The one glimmer of hope for Australia was at 9-8 ahead in the second game but Feng Tianwei was focused, in no mood for charity, three points in a row, a two games to nil lead was established.
Two games to nil ahead, in the third, Feng Tianwei forged into an 8-5 lead, Melissa Tapper called “Time Out” but the die was cast.
“I felt confident before the match; just a little nervous. In the second game against Melissa when I was down 8-9 I focused on trying to win the point quickly. I think today I played to my normal level; nothing special.” Feng Tianwei
Feng Tianwei held the ace cards; it was very much the same for Yu Mengyu in the next match on court when she faced Jian Fang Lay; the pen-hold blocking style of play, using long pimples on one side of the racket causes many an adversary nightmares, not Yu Mengyu.
Success by three matches to nil was the end result (11-6, 11-3, 11-8); fulfilling the role of player and coach, in the third game, Miao Miao called “Time Out” with Yu Mengyu next to serve and leading 10-8; the call was surely far too late and one of desperation. Yu Mengyu served; Jian Fang Lay returned the ball into the base of the net, game over.
Firmly in the driving seat, Zhou Yihan joined Yu Mengyu for the doubles contest; Miao Miao partnered Jian Fang Lay. A close first game and just as in the previous singles matches, when crisis loomed, Singapore responded; victory in straight games was recorded (11-8, 11-7, 11-8).
The bronze medal fixture and gold medal contest will be played later in the day.