by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Members of the same national team, they were no strangers to each other, equally they were no strangers on this year’s Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour.
Prior to the meeting in Hong Kong, they had confronted each other in the final in Hungary in January when Chen Xingtong and Sun Yingsha had prevailed; just under two months later they had met again in the title decider in Qatar when Chen Ke and Wang Manyu had gained revenge.
In Hong Kong the scales tipped once more in favour of Chen Xingtong and Sun Yingsha.
Seizing the opportunities when presented Chen Xingtong and Sun Yingsha established a two games to nil lead; in the second Chen Ke and Wang Manyu electing for “Time Out” when trailing 8-9. It was a decision that did not prove fruitful, chances arose; they were seized by Chen Xingtong and Sun Yingsha.
Appearing more relaxed in the third game from being level at 4-all; Chen Xingtong established a 7-4 lead, they extended the advantage to 9-5 and at 10-6 held four match points. Chen Ke and Wang Manyu won the next two points, Chen Xingtong and Sun Yingsha after a moment’s hesitation decided to call “Time Out”; they lost the next point but then at the fourth attempt secured victory.
“I think we played well today, in terms of both our pre-match preparations and then on court the implementation of our strategies. It’s also my partner’s birthday today, so it’s also considered my present to her.” Sun Yingsha
“I think we played normal, but our opponents played better today.” Chen Ke
Overall it was the fourth ITTF World Tour Women’s Doubles title for Chen Xingtong and Sun Yingsha
In addition to their success earlier this year in Hungary, last year they won in Japan beating Korea’s Jeon Jihee and Yang Haeun in the final, prior to succeeding in Austria when they overcame Japan’s Honoka Hashimoto and Hitomi Sato to claim the top prize.