by Ian Marshall, Editor
Rallies brief, neither pair to assert their authority in the early stages, Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen established a 7-5 lead before losing the next five points. Three game points for Chen Chien-An and Cheng I-Ching, at the third attempt they converted.
Not the best of starts, in the second game, Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen established an early lead and never looked back but in the third they trailed 6-8 before eventually securing the game, at 9-8 in favour of Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen; Chen Chien-An and Cheng I-Ching electing for “Time Out”.
Trailing two games to one, in the fourth Chen Chien-An and Cheng I-Ching went ahead 10-7, Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen saved all three game points, before at the fourth attempt the Chinese Taipei pair converted.
A deciding fifth game beckoned; at the change of ends and order, Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen led 5-2; it was a lead they never relinquished. At 10-4 they held six match points after having taken a “Time Out” when leading 9-4; at the second attempt they succeeded. Once again Xu Xin proved himself the ideal partner; at the Qoros 2015 World Championships in Suzhou he had partnered the Korea Republic’s Yang Haeun to gold.
“It was a really close match. They always put pressure on us but we kept calm and confident. In crucial moments we played our best and succeeded.” Xu Xin
Success for Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen; thus the record of Mixed Doubles titles on the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour of always being won by different pairings continues; Chen Xingtong being the only player to have won twice.
She won on home soil in Shenzhen in harness with compatriot Lin Gaoyuan, before in Kitakyushu partnering Liang Jingkun to success; later in Daejeon, the Korea Republic’s Jang Woojin and DPR Korea’s Cha Hyo Sim emerged victorious, before in Geelong, the title was claimed by Lee Sangsu and Jeon Jihee, like Jang Woojin from the Korea Republic.
Defeat for Chen Chien-An and Cheng I-Ching but they qualify for the Grand Finals, for Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen, being their only excursion of the year, they do not meet the required two appearance criteria.
Qualifiers for Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals – Updated List
Xu Xin (China), Fan Zhendong (China), Ma Long (China), Tomokazu Harimoto (Japan), Jang Woojin (Korea Republic), Liang Jingkun (China), Lin Gaoyuan (China), Hugo Calderano (Brazil), Jun Mizutani (Japan), Patrick Franziska (Germany), Lim Jonghoon (Korea Republic), Lee Sangsu (Korea Republic), Wong Chun Ting (Hong Kong), Liu Dingshuo (China), Koki Niwa (Japan)
Wang Manyu (China), Kasumi Ishikawa (Japan), Liu Shiwen (China), Mima Ito (Japan), Ding Ning (China), Zhu Yuling (China), Chen Meng (China), Suh Hyowon (Korea Republic), Cheng I-Ching (Chinese Taipei), Chen Xingtong (China), Hitomi Sato (Japan), He Zhuojia (China), Miu Hirano (Japan), Sun Yingsha (China), Feng Tianwei (Singapore), Saki Shibata (Japan)
Jeoung Youngsik / Lee Sangsu (Korea Republic), Masataka Morizono / Yuya Oshima (Japan), Ma Long / Xu Xin (China), Ho Kwan Kit / Wong Chun Ting (Hong Kong), Jang Woojin / Lim Jonghoon (Korea Republic), Liao Cheng-Ting / Lin Yun-Ju (Chinese Taipei), Patrick Franziska / Jonathan Groth (Germany / Denmark), Mattias Falck / Kristian Karlsson (Sweden)
Chen Xingtong / Sun Yingsha (China), Hina Hayata / Mima Ito (Japan), Jeon Jihee / Yang Haeun (Korea Republic), Chen Ke / Wang Manyu (China), Liu Gaoyang / Zhang Rui (China), Honoka Hashimoto / Hitomi Sato (Japan), Doo Hoi Kem / Lee Ho Ching (Hong Kong), Ng Wing Nam / Minnie Soo Wai Yam (Hong Kong)
Lee Sangsu / Jeon Jihee (Korea Republic), Jang Woojin / Cha Hyo Sim (Korea Republic / DPR Korea), Chen Chien-An / Cheng I-Ching (Chinese Taipei), Lim Jonghoon / Yang Haeun (Korea Republic), Maharu Yoshimura / Kasumi Ishikawa (Japan), Masataka Morizono / Mima Ito (Japan), Wong Chun Ting / Doo Hoi Kem (Hong Kong), Lubomir Pistej / Barbora Balazova (Slovakia)