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Hungarian Open Day Three and Day Four


Sunday 22nd January

Day Four Review: Chen Xingtong the star

The previous best, a Women’s Doubles quarter-final finish in Japan in 2014 when partnering colleague Liu Ming; 19 year old Chen Xingtong emerged as the most successful player on duty at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Hungarian Open in Budapest on Saturday 22nd January.

After securing the Women’s Doubles title in harness with Li Jiayi, she won struck Women’s Singles gold on a day when China captured all four titles on offer; Fang Bo and Zhou Yu won the Men’s Doubles title, whilst Yan An brought proceedings to a conclusion by being crowned the Men’s Singles champion.

Not seeded, in the final of the Women’s Doubles event, Chen Xingtong and Li Jiayi ended the hopes of the host nation; they beat the partnership formed by Hungary’s Georgina Pota and Sweden’s Matilda Ekholm, the no.2 seeds (11-4,11-6, 9-11,11-8) to arrest the title.

Later, in an all Chinese Women’s Singles title deciding contest, Chen Xingtong, the no.14 seed, overcame Wen Jia, the no.10 seed and twice winner on the ITTF World Tour to secure the top prize. A five game verdict was the outcome (13-11, 8-11,11-9,11-9,11-9).

Impressive performances, it was the same from Fang Bo and Zhou Yu as they captured the Men’s Doubles title; the no.5 seeds, at the final hurdle they accounted for the Brazilian partnership of Hugo Calderano and Gustavo Tsuboi, the no.2 seeds (11-6, 6-11, 11-8, 11-8).

Three titles for China, the fourth was guaranteed; just as in the Women’s Singles final, it was an all-Chinese affair. Yan An beat Shang Kun in six games (13-11, 6-11, 11-7, 11-6, 10-12, 11-8) to secure his second ITTF World Tour Men’s Singles title in a unique final.

It was the first time ever that two players, who had been required to compete in the qualification tournament, had contested the final.

Yan An became the third qualifier to win and ITTF World Tour Men’s Singles event. He follows in the footsteps of Korea’s Lee Sangsu who won in Slovenia in 2010 and Masato Shiono who succeeded three years later on home soil in Japan.


Saturday 21st January

Day Three Review: China in control

A place in the national team for the forthcoming Liebherr 2016 World Championships and looking even further ahead, perhaps in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games; aspiring Chinese players dominated proceedings on the penultimate day of action, Saturday 21st January, at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Hungarian Open in Budapest.

Shang Kun and Yan An reached the final of the Men’s Singles event; in the counterpart Women’s Singles competition, Chen Xingtong and Wen Jia will contest the title deciding match.

Chen Xingtong and Shang Kun emerged as the players to cause the biggest upsets.

At the quarter-final stage of the Women’s Singles event, Chen Xingtong, the no.14 seed, overcame colleague Chen Meng, the top seed in a tension packed duel; the 19 year old emerging successful by the very narrowest of seven games margins (12-14, 15-13, 2-11, 11-13, 11-8, 12-10, 13-11).

Success against the top seed, in the penultimate round it was success against the no.11 seed; Chen Xingtong overcame Monaco’s Yang Xiaoxin in four straight games (12-10, 11-5, 11-5, 11-2).

Wins against higher seeded players; in the opposed half of the draw it was the counterpart scenario for Wen Jia, the no.10 seed. In the round of the last eight she overcame the defensive skills of Tetyana Bilenko, the no.13 seed (14-16, 11-7, 8-11, 11-3, 11-1, 11-6), before by a similar margin defeating colleague and qualifier Li Jiayi (12-10, 11-7, 11-4, 14-16 5-11, 11-3).

Notably, one round earlier, Li Jiayi had ended the hopes of the host nation; at the quarter-final stage she had ousted Georgina Pota, the no.5 seed (6-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-9, 11-3).

A notable success for Chen Xingtong, beating the top seed Chen Meng in the quarter-finals; for Shang Kung the win in the round of the last eight was also against the top seed and is one that he will always treasure.

He beat a boyhood hero; he accounted for Vladimir Samsonov of Belarus in six games (7-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-8, 8-11, 11-8) to reserve his place in the semi-finals; where facing colleague, Lin Gaoyuan, he recovered from a three games to one deficit to secure his place in the title deciding match (7-11, 8-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-4, 11-9, 11-4).

In the final, Shang Kun plays colleague, Yan An, a player in outstanding form. At the quarter-final stage he beat Fang Bo, the no.3 seed and also from China in four straight games (11-6, 11-3, 11-5, 11-1), before administering similar punishment to Germany’s Ruwen Filus one round later (11-8, 11-3, 11-7, 11-7).

A total of eight games, Yan An surrendered just 40 points.

However that was not the record breaking feat of the day; all four semi-finalists in the Men’s Singles had been required to compete in the qualification tournament earlier in the week.

It is the first time in the history of the ITTF World Tour, since the first ball was hit in anger on Wednesday 3rd April 1996 in the English market town of Kettering, a total of now 313 tournaments that no seeded players has appeared in a Men’s Singles semi-final!