07 Jul 2019

Follow the drama from Busan as it unfolds on Sunday 7th July as the Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour SHINHAN Korea Open enters its final day.

World (#1) domination

Women’s Singles: Final

Three time World Champion, Chen Meng had no more than a small hiccup in claiming yet another Gold in the women’s singles final against Chinese compatriot Ding Ning (11-5, 11-6, 11-5, 7-11, 11-9).

In her 4:1 victory, the World #1 was rarely pushed by the otherwise impressive “Queen of hearts”. Chen’s signature backhand to forehand corner shot was on display repeatedly until the fourth game, when Ding dialed things up. Chen, who lost the final here in Korea last year however, was not to be denied as she kept her cool and claimed her first title in Shinhan with aplomb.

Chen-pion! Another Chinese World #1 kept her status as she claimed Gold in Shinhan against Ding Ning.
Slaying the Dragon

Men’s Singles: Final

Ma Long is probably the finest Chinese player of his era, and it takes another fine player to make him look even slightly off his game. Xu Xin was that player today, as he took the Gold in the men’s singles’ 2019 Shinhan Korea Open.

Xu-perman was at his commanding best, taking no prisoners versus Ma ‘The Dragon’ Long. After dropping the first game, Xu maintained the pressure on Ma with his snake-shots and big wellie, assuring himself a much more defensive opponent. The World #1 was still pushed into difficult backhand returns in almost every game, meaning the final 4:1 score did not tell the full story. Having lost repeatedly to ‘The Dictator’, Xu ‘Cloudwalker’ Xin will have certainly enjoyed this championship win and maintaining his status at the top (7-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-7, 11-8).

The final before the final

Women’s Singles: Semi-Final

The Chinese elite clashed in what turned out to be a game worthy of the final, just before the final. Wang Manyu faced off against Chen Meng as the top 2 in the world gave the fans a treat in an epic battle.

Taking the first game with utter ease (11-3), Chen seemed to be in control until the next game was snatched away by Wang 11-8. This pendulum continued with neither athlete giving up the con, as they were both too strong on their serves. Then Chen found a chink in Wang’s armor and never let go, winning two games on the bounce and seeing off her doubles partner in a seven game thriller (11-3, 8-11, 11-3, 12-14, 10-12, 11-9, 11-6). Ding Ning, who has yet to win on the World Tour since last year’s Bulgarian Open, lies in wait.

Chen Meng needed 7 games to reach the final of the women’s singles.
Ding takes control

Women’s Singles: Semi-Final

The Queen of hearts, Ding Ning was put through her paces by her fellow Chinese Sun Yingsha as the veteran booked a place in the finals after an incredible comeback 4:3 win in 2019 Shinhan Korea Open (8-11, 11-5, 8-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-8).

Starting strong, the 18-year-old Sun kept up her end of the bargain by keeping her shot play short and challenging Ding’s backhand. This meant that World #3 Ding had to dig deep and use her timeouts to perfection, taking the match to the deciding seventh game. After that it was all about the composure in Ding’s play and how well she handled the pressure that has been on her since the start of the tour.

Cloud walking into the final

Men’s Singles: Semi-Final

Once Xu Xin gets a sniff of the gold, there is very little that can stand in his way. After winning the Gold yesterday in the men’s doubles, the World #1 saw off Chinese compatriot Wang Chuqin 4:2  (8-11, 20-18, 11-7, 11-7, 5-11, 11-5), setting up an all-Chinese final versus Ma Long.

The match was dominated by the speed of shots from either end, as neither Xu nor Wang let up. The veteran Xu held his own for longer, but only just. After coming as close as 3:2 in the match, Wang was all about pushing his way for a comeback with his flicks and close-to-the-table-play. Xu did what he does best, riding out the youthful exuberance of Wang and slowly etching the sixth game to a close. Now his date with the Dragon awaits.

Xu Xin proves his worth as World #1 in an angsty battle against Wang Chuqin.
Ma Long books final place

Men’s Singles: Semi-Final

China’s Ma Long, the no.4 seed, ended the hopes of the host nation; in the penultimate round of the men’s singles event he beat Jeoung Youngsik in five games (11-7, 5-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-9).

Success for Ma Long but it was not a vintage performance. Was there a slight sense of anxiety? One month earlier in the second round in Sapporo he had stood on the brink of defeat in the fifth game against the 27 year old Korean (11-9, 7-11, 11-9, 9-11, 9-11, 12-10, 11-5). However in Busan, to his great credit when potential crisis loomed, Ma Long retained his focus, there was no hint of panic; simply he went back to basics, put the ball on the table, by performing that skill you make your opponent play, you force errors from your adversary; such was the scenario. Trying to force the play, Jeoung Youngsik made mistakes.

A thoroughly professional performance secure a semi-final place for Ma Long.

“All matches are equally hard and it’s about how you come through the tough moments that keeps you in the game. No matter who I meet in the final, I believe it’s always going to be as hard as any other match.”

Day Four commences

The final day has arrived and there’s plenty to look forward to – here’s what’s on the schedule for today:

World Tour 2019 Seamaster SHINHAN Korea Open Busan

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Match Highlights

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Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour SHINHAN Korea Open - Day 2