05 Oct 2019

Rich in history, at the close of play on the penultimate day of action, Saturday 5th October, at the 2019 ITTF World Tour Swedish Open more names will be added to the celebrated roll of honour; those of the men's, women's and mixed doubles winners.

Also, the semi-finalists in both the men's singles and women's singles events will be known.

Chen Meng and Ding Ning clinch gold

Women’s Doubles Final:

China’s Chen Meng and Ding Ning, the no.5 seeds, recovered from an opening game deficit to beat Japan’s Miu Hirano and Kasumi Ishikawa (5-11, 11-5, 11-8, 11-5) to secure the title.

“It was the first time we had played against Miu Hirano and Kasumi Ishikawa. We had to search for good tactics. After we lost the first game, Chen Meng tried to make chances for me in order that we could adapt to their style of play.” Ding Ning

“I am used to playing doubles with a right hander; it was quite new for me to partner a left hander. We must keep finding the best ways to co-operate with each other. The win today means a lot to us.” Chen Meng

Defeat but defeat with honour, Miu Hirano and Kasumi Ishikawa commenced play in the qualification stage.

“The first game was good, we were good with service and receive, we were better in the short play. Later we made easy mistakes, they played wide. We lost but we can be positive about our performance.” Kasumi Ishikawa

Perhaps surprising for Chen Meng and Ding Ning it was only their second ITTF World Tour women’s double title as a partnership. In 2018 they had won in the Korea Republic.

Kasumi Ishikawa (left) and (right) Miu Hirano the women’s doubles runners up (Photo: Ireneusz Kanabrodzki)
Fan Zhendong and Xu Xin retain title

Men’s Doubles: Final

Successful in 2017, Fan Zhendong and Xu Xin, the no.3 seeds beat Chinese national team colleagues Liang Jingkun and Lin Gaoyuan, the no.2 seeds, to secure the men’s doubles title. They prevailed in full distance five games contest (10-12, 11-1, 11-9, 11-13, 11-5).

“Even though we lost the first game we didn’t play that badly. After losing to Liang Jingkun and Lin Gaoyuan at the recent Asian Championships we searched for different tactics; we tried to reduce the opportunities for our opponents, different placements.” Fan Zhendong

“My status has not been very good today as you may have seen. My aim was to win the mixed doubles an all my matches against non Chinese opponents. I slept a little after I lost in the men’s singles and played better this afternoon.” Xu Xin

Xu Xin (left) and (right) Fan Zhendong, the men’s doubles winners (Photo: Ireneusz Kanabrodzki)

Notably it was their second such title of the year, previously they had won in Japan and Korea Republic. Overall it was their six ITTF World Tour men’s doubles gold as a pair. Additionally they had won in 2015 on home soil in China.

Title defence hopes alive

Women’s Singles: Quarter-Final

Japan’s Mima Ito kept her hopes of a successful title defence alive and in so doing prevented an all Chinese semi-final line-up. The no.7 seed, she upset the pecking order, she accounted for China’s Wang Manyu in five games (11-8, 4-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-4).

“I feel I am playing well and I hope I can continue in this manner; I just focused on playing one point at a time and remaining positive. It was important to try to win the points quickly.” Mima Ito

Wang Manyu suffered at the hands of Mima Ito (Photo: Ireneusz Kanabrodzki)
Yogyakarta repeated

Women’s Singles: Quarter-Final

Two weeks earlier at the ITTF-ATTU Asian Championships in Yogyakarta, Sun Yingsha had proved too fast for Ding Ning, in a best of five games encounter she had won in some style (11-3, 11-1, 7-11, 11-9); in Stockholm she repeated the dose. The no.6 seed against Ding Ning, the no.2 seed, she prevailed in straight games (11-9, 11-7, 13-11, 11-7).

“Beating both Liu Shiwen and Ding Ning two weeks ago at the Asian Championships gave me a great deal of confidence both mentally and tactically. I was ready for Ding Ning to come back in the third game; it is not unusual for her to lose two games and then progress to win the match.” Sun Yingsha

Ding Ning beaten by Sun Yingsha (Photo: Ireneusz Kanabrodzki)
European hopes end

Men’s Singles: Quarter-Final

China’s Fan Zhendong, the no.2 seed, beat Frenchman, Simon Gauzy, the no.15 seed, to end European hopes. Each game hard fought, Fan Zhendong holding the edge in the crucial points. A straight games win (11-8, 11-8, 11-9, 11-9).

“It’s a long time since I have played Simon so I think I performed well today. The level of each player and the skills they show are ever closer; good to win, I had to focus on each and every point.” Fan Zhendong

Fan Zhendong secured the crucial points to beat Simon Gauzy (Photo: Ireneusz Kanabrodzki)
Brave recovery but Lin Gaoyuan prevails

Men’s Singles: Quarter-Final

China’s Lin Gaoyuan, the no.3 seed, beat Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov, the no.8 seed (4-11, 11-7, 11-7, 8-11, 11-2, 11-13, 11-4) to reserve his place in the penultimate round. Bravely, trailing 7-10 in the sixth game, Dimitrij Ovtcharov saved three match points before at his second attempt securing the game.

Crucially in the fourth game, Lin Gaoyuan led 5-3 at the change of ends, it was to prove a crucial advantage.

“I still remember the tough match against Ovtcharov at the China Open. I learned a lot from that match. Today I was uncertain about returning his serves at the beginning of the match; I think at the end I managed to adapt. I lost the sixth game even though I had three match points, I was able to come back; when I won the last point I felt really good” Lin Gaoyuan

A brave effort but it was defeat for Dimitrij Ovtcharov (Photo: Ireneusz Kanabrodzki)
Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen win epic finale

Mixed Doubles: Final

The best of mixed doubles tennis was saved for last here in the Eriksdalshallen, as the Japanese duo of Jun Mizutani and Mima Ito wowed the crowds as they faced off against China’s Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen.

“A two point gap, both pairs were anxious; time and again when it is close the decision goes to China; time and again they win the vital points.” Mima Ito

In a complete roller-coaster of a final, both pairs left everything they had on the table. Taking the lead, Mizutani and Ito sought out to impose themselves but faced a dramatic comeback from a motivated Xu and Liu. There was still time for the Japanese pair to hit back and lock the match at 2-2. In the decider, the game went down to the wire as Xu and Liu pulled out all the stops and managed to see off the powerful challenge of Mizutani and Ito. Eventually, the fans were the real winners who truly enjoyed such an epic final (8-11, 11-8, 13-11, 3-11, 11-9).

Xu Xin (rear) and (front) Liu Shiwen en route to gold (Photo: Ireneusz Kanabrodzki)
Fei makes her first semi-final

Women’s Singles: Quarter-finals

There was yet another Chinese domestic on display as Liu Fei went up against Qian Tianyi in a swift second quarter-final here in Stockholm.

The 25-year-old Liu held up her style of play against the 19-year-old Qian, winning the match 4-1 (11-5, 7-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-5). It was a complicated match at a point where Qian seemed to be making a comeback after losing the first game. However, Liu was fierce in her backhand shots, and put the youngster on the backfoot for the whole 42 minutes – securing her first ever semi-final spot at the World Tour.

“I’m really happy to have reached the semi-final; it’s the first time I have ever played on the centre court where there was only one table. I lost the second game because I did not play with enough variation, not enough backspin and I missed the chances to attack. In the next games I tried to be courageous and make chances to win the points.” Liu Fei

Textbook solid work from Liu Fei (Photo: Ireneusz Kanabrodzki)
Chen and Liu involved in thriller

Women’s Singles: Quarter-finals

When the World no.1 and World Champion meet, there are bound to be fireworks. China’s Chen Meng and Liu Shiwen lived up to that billing with a scintillating display of class in table tennis, as the two icons of the sport went head to head.

Starting better of the two, Chen took an early lead which was covered by Liu in no time. This meant that after four games, they were tied 2-2. The younger veteran of the two, Chen took the fifth with a superb serve based game which looked like to finish Liu’s chances once and for all. But the world #5 hit back and pushed Chen all the way in the sixth game. A true epic ended as 4-2 win for Chen, which saw her move on to yet another World Tour semi-final (11-7, 10-12, 4-11, 11-8, 11-5, 18-16).

“The last point was an edge ball, I was really lucky. Compared with the last time I played Liu Shiwen at the World Championships and lost; today I made fewer mistakes. In the second and third games the tempo, the speed of the play, from Liu was too high. It was really important to focus on each point and not on the result.” Chen Meng

Liu Shiwen beaten by Chen Meng (Photo: Ireneusz Kanabrodzki)
Wang reaches semi-finals in style

Men’s Singles: Quarter-finals

Wang Chuqin was immaculate in his 4-0 victory over Chinese compatriot Zhao Zihao, needing just over 26 minutes to complete the job (11-6, 11-6, 11-7, 11-5).

The 19-year-old was especially impressive on his serve, winning 23 points across the four games. Zhao sadly was not up for the speed of Wang’s shots and felt the match slip away with each point. This result means Wang will meet Xu Xin conqueror Liang Jingkun in the semi-finals.

Focused on the win, is Wang Chuqin.
Liang wins a major Xu scalp

Men’s Singles: Quarter-finals

The morning session in Eriksdalshallen could not have been more frantic to start with, as two Chinese athletes collided in a supreme show of competitive nature in the sport. Liang Jingkun came out on top with a powerful 4-2 win over world #1 Xu Xin (11-6, 11-8, 11-7, 8-11, 8-11, 11-6).

For the first 25 minutes, it was all about Liang’s pace and poise around the table as Xu looked to be a shadow of himself. That third straight loss of a game woke him up and saw Xu win two games back to back. But it was to be in vain, as Liang channeled his early strength to serve out the final game and claim a well deserved spot in the semi-finals.

“I had a really good start; Xu Xin was not in a good shape today. Xu Xin recovered in the fourth and fifth games; I made many mistakes, mainly because Xu Xin was more positive and made changes to the play. Last year I lost to Fan Zhendong in the quarter-finals; since then I’ve been really pleased with my performances except for the recent Asian Championships when I lost to Jeoung Youngsik.” Liang Jingkun

Liang Jingkun who beat Xu Xin (Photo: Ireneusz Kanabrodzki)
Let the games begin!
World Tour 2019 Swedish Open Stockholm

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Day 1 - 2019 ITTF World Tour Swedish Open