Chen Meng justifies status, gold in Weihai
Currently listed in top spot on the world rankings, Chen Meng won the women’s singles title at the 2020 Chinese National Championships staged in Weihai, Shandong Province, on Friday 9th October.
Moreover, she succeeded in imperious fashion; not one game was surrendered in the medal deciding rounds. At the final hurdle she beat Sun Yingsha (11-2, 11-7, 12-10, 11-9), after in the penultimate round having accounted for Wang Manyu (11-8, 11-6, 11-3, 12-10).
In the opposite half of the draw, likewise in the penultimate round Sun Yingsha had showed no mercy. She ended the hopes of Gu Yuting without blemish (11-6, 11-2, 11-6, 11-3).
A most unusual situation, players from the same national team who practise together on a regular basis, playing styles well known, surely one would have anticipated closer matches?
Furthermore, there was another somewhat unusual situation in the contest between Chen Meng and Sun Yingsha. In the third game, Chen Meng trailed 8-9. Time and again there had been long rallies in the contest, so much so that 10 minutes had elapsed. Thus play was stopped and the expedite rule invoked, alternate serves, the receiver winning the point if making a successful 13th return.
Such a situation never accrued but two fast attacking players invoking the expedite rule as opposed to defenders, is not the norm. Moreover, once the rule is introduced, it remains for the rest of the match.
Gold for Chen Meng, there was the same colour medal for Ma Long and Xu Xin, crowned world champions in Rotterdam in 2011; almost a decade ago! Time flies!
Following success at the semi-final stage against defenders Ma Te and Hou Yingchao (8-11, 11-5, 11-8, 11-6, 11-7), they accounted for Lin Gaoyuan and Liang Jingkun to arrest the title (8-11, 15-13, 14-12, 11-3, 11-3). In the counterpart semi-final Lin Gaoyuan and Liang Jingkun had beaten Fan Zhendong and Wang Chuqin (8-11, 11-6, 11-6, 10-12, 11-8, 12-10.
The semi-finals and finals of both the men’s singles and women’s doubles events will be played on Saturday 10th October.
Editor: Ian Marshall