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Sunday 18th June


Sun Yingsha defies the odds, recovers to beat Chen Meng in dramatic final

Against the odds, Sun Yingsha who had been required to compete in the two day qualification tournament won the Women’s Singles title at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Platinum Lion Japan Open in Tokyo on the afternoon of Sunday 18th June.

In an all Chinese final she recovered from a three games to one deficit to beat Chen Meng, the no.2 seed in a dramatic contest (9-11, 11-9, 8-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-8).

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Once again, as in the semi-final earlier in the day, Sun Yingsha appeared most comfortable on the main stage.

Considering that it was her first ever appearance on the ITTF World Tour and her one previous noteworthy international final being at the 2016 China Junior and Cadet Open, when losing to colleague Qian Tianyi, it was a quite remarkable performance.

The first two games were shared both determined by the minimal two point margin with Sun Yingsha performing a brave recovery in the first game and maintaining a narrow lead in the second.

Chen Meng, deliberate on her service action won the third and fourth games; Sun Yingsha, maintaining her composure secured the fifth game. Tension was mounting, in the sixth game Sun Yingsha went ahead 9-7, Chen Meng levelled at 9-all but the next two points went to Sung Yingsha, a seventh game beckoned.

At the change of ends in the seventh game, Sun Yingsha led 5-3, she extended the lead to 6-3, Chen Meng called “Time Out”. Sun Yingsha moved ahead 8-4, before at 10-7 she held three match points; the first match point was saved, not the second, Sun Yingsha had caused a sensation.

It was for Chen Meng, her eight ITTF World Tour Women’s Singles title, her second in Japan and her second this year.

It was for Sun Yingsha it was success at the first attempt; for Chen Meng in her eighth ITTF World Tour Women’s Singles final it was her second defeat.



Acclimatising quickly Sun Yingsha books final place

Minimal international experience but playing in manner that suggested she was accustomed to the big stage, as opposed to being totally new; against expectations, on the morning of Sunday 18th June, Sun Yingsha accounted for Chinese national team colleague Wang Manyu, to reserve her place in the final of the Women’s Singles event at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Platinum Lion Open in Tokyo

Most impressively, Sun Yingsha emerged successful in four straight games in the first semi-final of the day (16-14, 11-9, 14-12, 11-7). Contrary to expectations, the second semi-final was as predicted; Chen Meng, the no.2 seed and also from China, overcame Germany’s Han Ying, the no.6 seed (11-7, 11-8

A first ever ITTF World Tour Women’s Singles semi-final for 16 year old Sun Yingsha and only a second for 18 year old Wang Manyu, both commenced matters in a relaxed manner, both moved well.

The early advantage went to Sung Yingsha, she secured the opening game after leading 8-4 and then losing the next four points before levelling at 10-all. Eventually she won the game 16-14 with both players having chances securing success.

Confident, the more positive player, Sun Yingsha secured a close second game. However, Wang Manyu is no stranger to losing the opening two games and then recovering; in the previous round she had surrendered the first two games against the host nation’s Mima Ito, before winning the next four.

In opposition to her compatriot, it was a different scenario; Sun Yingsha, the expert of the forehand flicked return of service, captured a close third game in which, as in the first, both had chances.

Now increasingly confident, maintaining her positive approach, in the fourth game Sun Yingsha went ahead 3-1, Wang Manyu called “Time Out”, it was to no avail, her compatriot was in the ascendancy; Wang Manyu was never able to gain parity. At 10-7 Sun Yingsha held three match points, she needed just one; the semi-final place was secured.

A straight games win for Sun Yingsha, it was same for Chen Meng; in the opening too games Chen Meng proved too consistent, too reliable at the crucial times, the exquisite technique standing firm when pressure mounted.

Forehand topspin in early in the rally directed to the backhand of Han Ying and then change the direction towards the elbow of her adversary, the so-called indecision point proved effective. At 6-5 in favour of Chen Meng in the third game, Han Ying called “Time Out”.