04 Nov 2018

The most recent Youth Olympic Games gold medallists at opposite ends of the table, it was Sun Yingsha, the winner one month ago in Buenos Aires who partnered Chen Xingtong to success in the Women’s Doubles final at the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Swedish Open in Stockholm on the morning of Sunday 4th November.

Occupying the no.7 seeded position; they beat Liu Gaoyang, who had won in Nanjing, and Zhao Rui, a pair who had been required to compete in the qualification tournament. Confronting their Chinese national team colleagues, they succeeded in four games (11-5, 9-11, 11-7, 11-6); thus Sun Yingsha had a double celebration, she struck gold on her 18th birthday.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Quick to seize the initiative, it was Chen Xingtong and Sun Yingsha who made the better start. They established a 5-3 lead in the opening game, they extended the advantage to 9-4, before, as the level of the exchanges rose, surrendering just one more point to secure success.

A good start for Chen Xingtong and Sun Yingsha, in the second game neither pair could assert authority; at 8-all it was parity. The next two points went to Liu Gaoyang and Zhang Rui, two game points, at the second attempt they converted, matters were level.

Stung by the reverse, just as in the opening game, Chen Xingtong and Sun Yingsha made an electric start. They went ahead 5-1; they never relinquished the advantage.

Now confident in the fourth game, Chen Xingtong and Sun Yingsha established a 4-1 lead, Liu Gaoyang and Zhang Rui called “Time Out”; the three point lead maintained, at 6-3, Chen Xingtong and Sun Yingsha decided re-appraisal was needed, they elected for “Time Out”. The break proved fruitful, at 10-6 on their second match point they succeeded.

“I’m really pleased to win the Women’s Doubles title; next year I will try hard to win both the Women’s Singles and Women’s Doubles events.” Chen Xingtong

Notably for Chen Xingtong and Sun Yingsha it was their sixth appearance in an ITTF World Tour Women’s Doubles final; their fourth of the year, underlining the fact they are increasingly becoming a partnership of the very highest stature. Success, a third ITTF World Tour Women’s Doubles title of the year, a fifth overall. In 2017, Chen Xingtong and Sun Yingsha won in Japan and Austria; this year they succeeded in Hungary and Hong Kong, whilst being the runners up in Qatar, the difference this year being that in Sweden, their opponents in the final were not compatriots Che Ke and Wang Manyu as in their three previous title deciding contests.

“It’s a really good birthday present. Today I am 18 years old so now I am an adult. It is a new start for me as a person and as a table tennis player.” Sun Yingsha

Very differently, for Liu Gaoyang and Zhang Rui, it was only their second such appearance; earlier this year they won in the Czech Republic.

World Tour 2018 Seamaster Swedish Open Sun Yingsha Chen Xingtong Zhang Rui Liu Gaoyang

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