by Simon Daish
The day’s action got underway with an all-Japanese affair as top seeds Hina Hayata and Mima Ito met with second seeds Honoka Hashimoto and Hitomi Sato in the Women’s Doubles final. Just the three games were required to see Hina Hayata and Mima over the line (11-8, 11-9, 11-7), claiming their second gold medal of the year as a partnership.
“We are very happy to win this title as we fought hard for this victory.” Mima Ito
Success for the top seeds in the Women’s Doubles draw and it was the same story in the Men’s Doubles final with Jeoung Youngsik and Lee Sangsu lifting the trophy: the duo from Korea Republic endured a difficult opening game but eventually ran out comfortable winners as Japanese opponents Masataka Morizono and Yuya Oshima fell to a straight games defeat (14-12, 11-5, 11-7).
“We never thought about winning during the match. We have played against each other for such a long time, and sometimes we win, sometimes we lose, so the results could have gone either way. It’s really a surprise for us to win 3-0 today, we are very happy with the result.” Jeoung Youngsik
Liu Shiwen leaves Geelong with a smile on her face following a terrific display in the Women’s Singles title match.
Second seed Liu Shiwen came through an intense seven games encounter with no.7 seed Ding Ning (11-5, 11-7, 3-11, 5-11, 6-11, 11-5, 11-6) to secure her 13th Women’s Singles gold medal on the ITTF World Tour.
“This is my first time here in Australia, and playing the Australian open. The road to the title was very tough, but I am so happy that I finally won. Both of us made some slight changes to our tactics during the match to try and overtake each other. Ding Ning is a very strong opponent, even though I took the victory today, there’s still a lot of little details that I need to review and learn from this match. I’m very thankful to my fans who came here to support me and watch me play at the Australian Open.” Liu Shiwen
13 singles titles for Liu Shiwen and her fellow compatriot Xu Xin also collected his 13th singles trophy after the pen-hold specialist emerged victorious at the final hurdle of the Men’s Singles contest at the Geelong Arena.
The four games to one score-line may suggest a fairy straightforward task for Xu Xin but qualifier Liu Dingshuo put up a brave fight in the final, making the second seed work hard for the win (12-10, 4-11, 12-10, 15-13, 11-6).
“I didn’t manage to play well in the recent two World Tour events, so there was pressure on me. There are still many flaws in my game that I need to fix and solve ASAP. Winning this Platinum event title will bring a boost to my confidence, because I’m dissatisfied with my performances in the past two World Tour events, so I wanted to win a title to prove myself. I used to feel more relaxed on the World Tour, and I didn’t lose any match to a non-Chinese player for 5 years, and was able to at least make it to the semi-finals so I’m glad that I’m back!.” Xu Xin