by Ian Marshall, Editor
Liu Gaoyang and Zhang Rui made the better start, they secured the opening game; they were the quicker to seize the initiative. Determined Jeon Jihee and Yang Haeun responded; they clinched the second game and then the third, having led 10-9 and 11-10.
A reply from the Chinese duo was demanded; the reply came in earnest, the fourth game was secured before at the change of ends in the fifth, a 5-3 lead was established. It was to prove a winning lead.
“I think today we played at a good level; certainly our opponents played well. They were good in the rallies but I think we were better in the details, the short play. In the fifth game we were able to raise our level.” Zhang Rui
Hard fought success for Liu Gaoyang and Zhang Rui, it was only marginally more comfortable for Chen Xingtong and Sun Yingsha.
“We have played against each other on several occasions, we are very familiar with each other. I think today the main reason why we were able to win is that we controlled the play better than our opponents.” Sun Yingsha
Notably for the confrontation between Chen Ke and Wang Manyu in opposition to Chen Xingtong and Sun Yingsha was one of familiarity; not only because they are both in the same national team, also because it was the third time they had met on this year’s Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour. However, it was the first time not in a final.
In Hungary and in Hong Kong the verdict had gone in favour of Cheng Xingtong and Sun Yingsha; in Doha, Chen Ke and Wang Manyu had prevailed. Now in Stockholm, Cheng Xingtong and Sun Yingsha increased their advantage.