by Ian Marshall, Editor
The powerful forehand very much in evidence, Chen Meng secured the opening game and then added the next, a game in which she only led at the vital stage 10-9.
Fast and furious close to the table counter top spin exchanges, both players at full speed, Wang Manyu won the first four points of the second game, before Chen Meng Meng levelled at 8-all. The next point went to Wang Manyu but then with fortune very much on her side, Chen Meng secured the next three points to steal the encounter. It was to prove the crucial stage of the contest.
Now brimful of confidence, in the third game, Chen Meng sped into a 7-3 lead; she surrendered just one more point to secure a three-nil advantage.
Again in the third game, Chen Meng made an electric start; she went ahead 4-1, Wang Manyu recovered to level at 6-all but never gained a lead; at 10-7 Chen Meng held three match points. She converted at the first attempt.
“I did not expect to win this match that easily. I focused a lot on my tactics rather than thinking about winning this tournament here in Austria; this was crucial to perform at such a high level. Even though I am delighted about my victory, it is essential that I can learn something from my matches and improve myself.” Chen Meng
Ever more a name to note, it was for Wang Manyu her ninth appearance in an ITTF World Tour Women’s Singles final; in addition to her success last year in Linz and the defeats at the hands of Chen Meng in Doha and the Gold Coast; earlier this year she had won in Budapest, Shenzhen and Kong Kong, whilst being the runner up in Kitakushu and once again in Doha.
She ends the year in top spot on the Women’s Singles Standings (1,856 points).
Meanwhile, for Chen Meng, she was making her 12th such excursion; her debut was in Doha in 2012 when beating Korea Republic’s Seok Hajung to win the first of her eight such titles prior to the final in Linz. The one prior occasion this year when she reached the final was in Daejeon, losing to Zhu Yuling.
Now in Linz she added a ninth to her list, the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Platinum Liebherr Austrian Open.