by Ian Marshall, Editor
Xu Xin, left handed pen-hold grip, alongside Liu Shiwen, right handed shake-hands grip, is the technically the perfect combination. Once again it prevailed; notably facing a pair, who since first combining last year in early July in Korea, have arguably made the greatest impact and have emerged the major threat to the celebrated Chinese duo.
According to statistics, they have one win to their credit in opposition to Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen but that was without a point being played; last July on the ITTF World Tour in Australia, they were due to meet in the opening round, injury forced Liu Shiwen to withdraw.
However, the previous week when they had met in the Korea Republic at the semi-final stage, it had been a closely contested duel; Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen had succeeded in four games (8-11, 11-4, 13-11, 11-8).
On their next encounters, both in finals, it was again success for Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen but even closer than in the Korea Republic. In October at the ITTF World Tour 2019 Swedish Open, it was by the minimal two point margin in the decider (8-11, 11-8, 13-11, 3-11, 11-9). Likewise, in December at the Agricultural Bank of China 2019 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals, the contest went to the wire after Jun Mizutani and Mima Ito had established a two games to nil lead (9-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-9).
It may not be happy reading for Japan but Jun Mizutani and Mima Ito have never lost in straight games to a partnership that surely possesses the mixed doubles master!
On the ITTF World Tour, since the mixed doubles event was first held in late May and early June 2018 at the ITTF World Tour Kaisa China Open in Shenzhen, Xu Xin has won seven times. He is five ahead of his nearest rivals Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yun-Ju and Hong Kong’s Wong Chun Ting.
Each have two wins to their name; in 2019 partnering Cheng I-Ching, Lin Yun-Ju won in Hong Kong and China, alongside Doo Hoi Kem, Wong Chun Ting succeeded in Korea Republic and Australia.
Partnering Liu Shiwen, Xu Xin has won seven titles
- 2018 ITTF World Tour – Austria – beat Chen Chien-An / Cheng I-Ching (TPE)
- 2019 ITTF World Tour – Hungary – beat Adam Szudi / Szandra Pergel (HUN)
- 2019 ITTF World Tour – Qatar – beat Masataka Morizono / Mima Ito (JPN)
- 2019 World Championships – Budapest – beat Maharu Yoshimura / Kasumi Ishikawa (JPN)
- 2019 ITTF World Tour – Sweden – beat Jun Mizutani / Mima Ito (JPN)
- 2019 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals – beat Jun Mizutani / Mima Ito (JPN)
- 2020 ITTF World Tour – Germany – beat Jun Mizutani / Mima Ito (JPN)
Also he has won partnering Zhu Yuling
- 2019 ITTF World Tour – Japan – beat Tomokazu Harimoto / Hina Hayata (JPN)
and with Sun Yingsha
- 2019 ITTF World Tour – Germany – beat Wang Chuqin / Wang Manyu (CHN)
don’t forget Korea Republic’s Yang Haeun
- 2015 World Championships – Suzhou – beat Maharu Yoshimura / Kasumi Ishikawa (JPN)
However, he has lost but not often, with Liu Shiwen
- 2019 ITTF World Tour – Korea Republic – lost in final to Wong Chun Ting / Doo Hoi Kem (HKG)
and once partnering Chen Meng
- 2019 ITTF World Tour – China – lost quarter-final to Lin Yun-Ju / Cheng I-Ching (TPE)
An outstanding record and one fact is certain, there is more to come; that is unless Jun Mizutani and Mima Ito know better!