// Bank of Communications 2020 ITTF Finals: Day Three - International Table Tennis Federation

Tournaments

21 Nov 2020

Follow all the action on day three of the Bank of Communications 2020 ITTF Finals at the Zhengzhou Olympic Sports Centre, as the world's elite stars contest the semi-final stage of both singles events.

Play commences at 2.00 pm local time (GMT+8).

RESULT: Ma Long 4-1 Xu Xin (11-13, 11-9, 11-9, 11-8, 11-7)

Men’s Singles: Semi-Finals

Ma Long has done it again, he has beaten Xu Xin in the men’s singles semi-finals for the second year running!

Very little between the two elite names from China but Ma never looked back after dropping that first game, dictating the power and direction of the rallies from that point on. So there we have it, Ma is through to the final where he faces a familiar opponent, Fan Zhendong in a repeat of last year’s ITTF Finals gold medal match and indeed last week’s Dishang 2020 ITTF Men’s World Cup final.

Ma hits back

Men’s Singles: Semi-Finals

The margins couldn’t be any tighter in this exceptional semi-final with Ma and Xu showing great character in this clash of titans. Narrowly missing out in game one, it’s Ma who takes games two and three (11-9, 11-9) to move ahead for the first time in the match. There’s still plenty to play for in this one.

Incredible start

Men’s Singles: Semi-Finals

Talk about a dramatic opening! What a start to this closing fixture of the day with both players producing spectacular attacking table tennis for all to enjoy. Ma saves three game points at 10-7 down before Xu goes on to save a game point himself at 10-11.

In the end it is the penhold grip player Xu who edges in front (13-11), but this is already shaping up to be an epic match.

Xu Xin takes the early initiative (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Don’t go anywhere!

The moment we have all been waiting for has finally arrived, two of the biggest names in the sport’s history are set to face off as Chinese giants Ma Long and Xu Xin enter the spotlight. Who will reach the men’s singles final?

Wang reacts

When facing this kind of pressure before the match, I try to bring that pressure into the match. The way I see it, with this pressure, my coach’s words and the trust in myself, I strive to push my opponent and do my best. I will try to take away as much as I can from tomorrow’s match. On current form and ability, Chen Meng is on another level and has had her own breakthrough, winning big titles.” Wang Manyu

Dominant performance sees Wang Manyu sail through (Photo: Rémy Gros)
RESULT: Wang Manyu 4-0 Mima Ito (11-3, 11-4, 11-9, 11-6)

Women’s Singles: Semi-Finals

Wang shows no mercy as she picks up a crushing 4-0 win over one of the biggest threats to the Chinese team in Japan’s Ito.

Truth be told Ito never really found a way to match her opponent but she did have her moments, coming particularly close in game three but it was clear from the early stages that there was only ever going to be one winner with Wang proving the dominant force. Wang’s victory means we will have a repeat of last year’s women’s singles final with Chen Meng taking the other ticket earlier in the day.

Ito being outpaced here

Women’s Singles: Semi-Finals

Wow! It’s not often we see Ito struggle to get up to speed but the Japanese star is most certainly on the backfoot here with Wang storming 2-0 ahead (11-3, 11-4).

Wang has been the clear aggressor in the early stages of the match, finding the open angle often and will be hoping for more of the same as the contest progresses.

Who will take the second ticket to the women’s singles final? (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Japan vs China

Okay, the time has come to settle the second semi-final in the women’s singles race as Mima Ito takes on Wang Manyu. The two have met 10 times so far with Wang holding a significant head-to-head advantage with eight wins, but it was Ito who prevailed in their last encounter.

Fan reacts

I prepared for this match but still found that it was a really tight game. Even though I won, I didn’t think I performed to my best. When I was leading 9-4 in the first game, I was a little too cautious and was lucky to have won game one. Games two and three were actually better. Even though I lost the third game, I thought he had reached his maximum because he felt that he needed to win it.” Fan Zhendong

RESULT: Fan Zhendong 4-1 Jang Woojin (11-8, 11-4, 13-15, 11-8, 11-5)

Men’s Singles: Semi-Finals

And he does it, Fan Zhendong books his place in Sunday’s men’s singles final following another superb display from the top seed in Zhengzhou.

Momentum shifting in his opponent’s corner after a tense third game, but Fan doesn’t let it faze him one bit, responding with back-to-back game wins to achieve a 4-1 victory. A disappointing end to the campaign for Jang Woojin but the Korea Republic competitor will be delighted with his #RESTART performance with two semi-final finishes.

Fan Zhendong claims another victory over Jang Woojin (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Korean pulls one back

Men’s Singles: Semi-Finals

Jang refuses to let his Chinese counterpart open up any substantial lead in this one with the scores remaining tight at 2-1 in Fan’s favour.

With game two going to Fan (11-4), the defending champion is presented with the chance to extend his advantage further with two game point opportunities in game three but fails to capitalise as Jang squeezes over the line (15-13).

Advantage Fan but Jang keeping pace

Men’s Singles: Semi-Finals

This has all the makings of a thrilling contest with Fan and Jang both displaying plenty of attacking finesse on the table. Jang does well to fight back from 9-4 down but ultimately gives himself too much to do as game one goes to Fan (11-8).

Jang Woojin putting up a brave fight (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Another rematch

Our second encounter of the day comes from the men’s singles event and also happens to be another rematch with China’s Fan Zhendong and Korea Republic’s Jang Woojin meeting in their second semi-final in successive weeks.

Chen reacts

The (4-0) result was unexpected. This is the third time we have played in a very short time span. Even though it looked one sided, every game had it’s crucial moments when things were tight and I feel lucky to win the match. Every match with her is exciting! There isn’t too much of a difference in our ability and our playing style is quite similar.” Chen Meng

RESULT: Chen Meng 4-0 Sun Yingsha (11-9, 11-8, 11-8, 12-10)

Women’s Singles: Semi-Finals

Chen Meng is through to the women’s singles final here in Zhengzhou after completing a powerful 4-0 win over Sun Yingsha!

Playing out of her skin in the first half of game four, Sun looked well on her way to pulling the deficit back slightly with a seemingly unassailable 3-8 lead. But, this is Chen we’re talking about here, no lead is unassailable for her and she proved it by fighting back to steal the game and bring the tie to a halt.

Chen Meng secures spot in yet another women’s singles final (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Time running out here

Women’s Singles: Semi-Finals

The odds are really beginning to fall in Chen’s favour here with the three-time champion now holding a commanding 3-0 lead.

A slow start to game three sees Sun fall 9-2 behind – putting a string of points together, Sun is able to force a time out call from her compatriot and manages to claw her way back into the game but still falls short (11-8). An incredible comeback is the only thing that can extend this one now.

Chen has all the answers so far

Women’s Singles: Semi-Finals

Just as we saw when these two met recently, both are living up to their end of the bargain with exceptional table tennis coming from each party. However, two games into this one and it’s Chen who appears to be the happier out on court (11-9, 11-8). Sun needs a better share of the luck in game three or the situation could soon become perilous for the 20-year-old.

Can Sun Yingsha reverse her fortunes? (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Here we go!

First up we have a very exciting all-China affair to settle, with defending women’s singles champion Chen Meng opposing rising star Sun Yingsha in a repeat of the recent Dishang 2020 ITTF Women’s World Cup final – Chen held the upper hand on that occasion, will we see a different outcome today?

What’s coming your way?

Before we get underway here in Zhengzhou, here’s a look ahead to the day’s fixtures:

 

Welcome back to #RESTART!

Welcome to day three of the Bank of Communications 2020 ITTF Finals and with it the penultimate day of play.

Today’s action sees the final four athletes from both the men’s and women’s singles events battle it out for tickets to the all-important title matches. Who will progress to the final day in Zhengzhou?

Bank of Communications 2020 ITTF Finals ITTF Finals Zhengzhou
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Day 4 - Bank of Communications 2020 ITTF Finals