2020 ITTF World Tour German Platinum Open
Tuesday 28th January – Sunday 2nd February
Titles for Xu Xin and Chen Meng
Most impressive on the concluding day of play, Sunday 2nd February, China’s Xu Xin and Chen Meng won the respective men’s singles and women’s singles titles at the 2020 ITTF World Tour Platinum German Open in Magdeburg; thus justifying their top seeded positions and adding to their every growing collection of silverware.
It was the 40th time that Xu Xin had appeared in an ITTF World Tour men’s singles final, the 18th time he had emerged successful; for Chen Meng the 17th excursion, the 14th time the champion.
However, for Xu Xin it was his first in Germany, having been the runner up on his two most previous visits; on both occasions in Bremen, losing to Chinese colleagues, in 2018 to Ma Long, last year to Fan Zhendong. In 2020 he turned the tables. After overcoming compatriot, Lin Gaoyuan, the no.4 seed (11-6, 11-6, 11-4, 11-8), he accounted for Ma Long, the no.3 seed (11-3, 11-9, 11-13, 13-15, 11-3, 11-6) to arrest the title.
A convincing win against Ma Long, perhaps not in peak form but in very good form; at the semi-final stage he had ousted the host nation’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov, the no.10 seed (11-3, 11-9, 11-13, 13-15, 11-3, 11-6), the sensational quarter-final winner in opposition to Fan Zhendong, the no.2 seed (9-11, 11-4, 8-11, 10-12, 12-10, 11-5, 12-10).
Outstanding from Xu Xin in the later rounds; in all Chinese semi-finals it was no different from Chen Meng. She recorded a straight games penultimate round success against Zhu Yuling, the no.5 seed (12-10, 11-2, 11-8, 15-13), prior to overcoming Ding Ning, the no.7 seed to secure the top prize.
Notably, similar to Ma Long, Ding Ning had shown good form. At the quarter-final stage she had beaten Japan’s Mima Ito, the no.4 seed (11-7, 11-13, 14-12, 11-8, 11-5), prior to overcoming Wang Manyu, the no.6 seed (2-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-1, 11-9), both players against whom last year Ding Ning had experienced defeats. In fact in an international tournament it was the first time Ding Ning had ever beaten Wang Manyu!
Success for Xu Xin and Chen Meng but it very nearly didn’t happen. In the opening round facing adversaries from the Korea Republic both were extended the full seven games distance. Xu Xin eventually overcame An Jaehyun (11-4, 9-11, 11-4, 9-11, 11-8, 4-11, 11-3); Chen Meng recovered from the very brink of defeat in the sixth game to beat Suh Hyowon (12-14, 11-5, 10-12, 7-11, 11-7, 15-13, 11-4).
A most profitable visit to Magdeburg for Xu Xin and Cheng Meng; both ended proceedings with two titles each. Earlier on the penultimate day of action, Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen had joined forces to secure the mixed doubles title, soon after Chen Meng had partnered Wang Manyu to women’s doubles gold.
Each occupying the top seeded position, at the final hurdle, each ended Japanese hopes. Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen beat Jun Mizutani and Mima Ito, the no.4 seeds (12-10, 13-11, 7-11, 11-7); Chen Meng and Wang Manyu accounted for Miu Hirano and Kasumi Ishikawa, the no.6 seeds (11-7, 8-11, 11-7, 11-8).
Four titles for China, wins for the top seeds but there was to be no clean sweep; required to qualify, Korea Republic’s 17 year old Cho Daeseong and 24 years of age Jang Woojin emerged the biggest surprise winners of the tournament.
After overcoming colleagues, Jeoung Youngsik and Lee Sangsu, the top seeds (11-8, 11-5, 7-11, 11-3), they beat Lin Gaoyuan and Ma Long, the no.2 seeds (10-12, 15-13, 12-14, 14-12, 11-6) to secure the top prize.
Play in Germany concluded, on the ITTF World Tour, attention now turns to Budapest; the Hungarian Open commences with qualification on Tuesday 18th February.
Editor: Ian Marshall