Tue, 03 Oct 2023

DURBAN, South Africa, May 27 (Xinhua) -- China has secured five titles on offer at the ITTF World Table Tennis Championships (WTTC) Finals as they claimed men's and women's doubles titles and swept women's singles final berths here on Saturday.

Top-ranked Sun Yingsha demonstrated her supreme position in a 4-1 victory over Japan's Hina Hayata, who had saved nine match points to edge out another Chinese paddler Wang Yidi in the quarterfinal. Sun will make her second successive appearance in the singles final of the tournament.

"Two years have passed, and I feel that everyone has progressed. Hopefully I can do well on my end tomorrow without leaving any regret," Sun commented.

Sun, who had won all four previous head-to-heads against Hayata, broke open a 4-4 tie at an early stage with seven points in a row through sublime serves and forehand. She raced to a 3-0 lead after bagging 11-5, 11-8 victories in the next two games.

Hayata had a glimpse of hope after triumphing 11-5 in the fourth game, but it was soon extinguished by an unstoppable Sun, who came through the hurdle with an 11-8 win in the fifth game.

"In recent years, Hina has improved her capacity, so I thoroughly prepared for this match along with my coaches. Despite a favorable result, I need to draw some lessons from the match, especially the fourth game," admitted Sun.

Next up for Sun will be Olympic champion Chen Meng, who rallied from one game down to dispatch teammate Chen Xingtong 4-1.

After losing the first game 11-5, Chen Meng weathered the pressure in the next two games, winning 13-11 and 14-12 to turn the tide. Chen Meng found her footing in the contest afterwards, pocketing the following two games 11-6 and 11-7 to advance to the final.

"We are quite familiar as teammates, so I think it's about the mindset. It's never easy to make it to the final, and I will go all out tomorrow," Chen Meng stated.

China has already scooped both final berths in the men's singles semifinals, where top-seeded Fan Zhendong moved just one step away from his title defense with a 4-2 win against Liang Jingkun while second seed Wang Chuqin beat veteran Ma Long 4-1.

As the singles final debutant at the World Championships, Wang looked forward to stepping onto the biggest stage.

"I watched it on TV or from the stands in the past, but this time I will participate in it, which is such a nice thing," he noted.

"It's quite normal that you approach the final with nerve or anticipation. I need to handle it and unleash my best on the court," said Fan.

Prior to their respective singles semifinals, Fan and Wang helped China reclaim the men's doubles title after overwhelming Jang Woo-jin and Lim Jong-hoon of South Korea 3-0.

Despite a 6-9 deficit, Fan and Wang held their nerve to snatch four points in a row and win an intense first game.

The Chinese paddlers didn't encounter much resistance from their opponents in the next two games on their way to victory.

"We built better chemistry and had better communication as the tournament went deep," Wang concluded.

Chen Meng and Wang Yidi triumphed in straight games over Jeon Ji-hee and Shin Yu-bin of South Korea in the women's doubles final, landing China's 18th consecutive title in the event at the World Championships dating back to 1989.

"We were well-prepared for the difficulties. It wasn't plain sailing, but we are happy to come through," admitted Chen.

Wang Chuqin and Sun Yingsha retained their mixed doubles title on Friday, and Saturday's results meant that the Chinese team will leave Durban with all five trophies.

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