by Ian Marshall, Editor
Thus in their fourth ITTF World Tour mixed doubles final, they struck gold; previously they had won in 2019 in the Korea Republic and Australia, whilst being the runners up in China.
Most notably in Korea Republic, they beat China’s Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen in the final; the only pair since the mixed doubles event entered the ITTF World Tour at the Kaisa China Open in May 2018 to have beaten the celebrated Chinese duo on the international scene.
“We were very determined to win this final; we prepared from early in the morning. The match started well; after the first game then it was a bit shaky in the second. I think it was very important to win the third game to hold a lead. We were up 4-0 and 7-4 but then it became tight. I remember it was 8–6 when Petrissa played an amazing counter topspin. We decided to stop to calm down a bit and reset. It proved to be the right decision as we won the game and lost the next one so technically we could have lost 3-1. In the last end, we just played point by point not thinking about the outcome and fighting hard. It paid off. We are very happy with our gold medal here in Budapest as it was well earned.” Wong Chun Ting
Furthermore, you can add one more title to their collection; they emerged successful at the 2018 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals.
Proving a point
Success; that success proves a point, in an age when the favoured mixed doubles partnerships are a left hander partnering a right hander, Wong Chun Ting and Doo Hoi Kem underline the fact that two right handers can prove most successful.
Wong Chun Ting, a pen-holder, is very adept near the net, his heavy top spin play from both backhand and forehand complements the close to the table counter top spin style of play extolled by Doo Hoi Kem.
Furthermore, in this day and age when the so-called “banana” backhand return of serve, forearm vertical, wrist relaxed and racket circumnavigating the ball to produce a cocktail of sidespin and topspin, is popular; is it not better to have two right handers on duty? Surely for the right hander in the traditional partnership with a left hander, to effect such a return is very difficult and means running across the path of your partner.
It would seem that is not the thinking of the wise and wonderful. A total of 19 ITTF World Tour mixed doubles events have been staged; other than China’s Liang Jingkun and Chen Xingtong, who won in 2018 in Japan, Wong Chun Ting and Doo Hoi Kem are the only all righthander to strike gold. Overall 16 of the 19 titles have been won a left and right handed pair.
- ITTF World Tour – mixed doubles winners – left hand and right hand pairs
- ITTF World Tour – mixed doubles runners up – left hand and right hand pairs
Equally consider the pairs who finished in runners up spot; in addition to Wong Chun Ting and Doo Hoi Kem, the only right handed silver medallists are China’s Ma Te and Wu Yang; last year in Bulgaria, they were beaten in the final by Japan’s Jun Mizutani and Mima Ito.
Thus taking runners up into account, no less than 17 of the 19 pairs who have finished in second place form a left handed and right handed combination.
Equally, on the seven occasions when mixed doubles has been on ITTF Challenge Series agenda, on five occasions the winning partnership has been left and right hand, on four occasions for the runners up.
- ITTF Challenge Series mixed doubles winners – left hand and right hand pairs
- ITTF Challenge Series mixed doubles runners up – left hand and right hand pairs
Last year right handers Kilian Ort and Wan Yuan won in Lagos, likewise Slovakia’s Lubomir Pistej and Tatiana Kukulkova were the runners up in Oman, the same for DPR Korea’s An Ji Song and Kim Nam Hae in Pyongyang.
However, the stand out final is that last year in Asuncion, at the 2019 ITTF Challenge Plus Paraguay Open, Puerto Rico’s Brian Afanador and Adriana Diaz beat Brazil’s Vitor Ishiy and Caroline Kumahara to secure the top prize.
Add the Grand Finals to the equation, it is the only time on the ITTF World Tour or at an ITTF Challenge Series tournament that all four finalists in a mixed doubles event have been right handed.
- Reaction from Tuesday 18th February
- Reaction from Wednesday 19th February
- Reaction from Thursday 20th February
- Reaction from Friday 21st February
- Reaction from Saturday 22nd February