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Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals

Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals

Astana, Kazkhstan

Sunday 17th December 

 

Titles for Chen Meng and Fan Zhendong

The name that will head the Women’s World Rankings when the list is announced officially in early January, China’s Chen Meng emerged as the most successful player at the Seamaster 2017 World Grand Finals which concluded in Astana, the capital city of Kazakhstan, on the evening of Sunday 17th December.

After partnering compatriot Zhu Yuling to Women’s Doubles success, she beat her partner in the final of the Women’s Singles event to bring the year to an end on a high note.

Occupying the second seeded position in the draw, Chen Meng and Zhu Yuling accounted for Japan’s Hina Hayata and Mima Ito, the top seeds, in four straight games (11-8, 11-8, 11-8, 11-9) and thus avenged the defeat experienced one month earlier, when the Japanese teenagers had prevailed in the final of the Women’s Doubles event at the Seamaster 2017 Swedish Open.

A four straight games verdict, it was the same in the Women’s Singles and Men’s Doubles finals; in the former, Chen Meng the top seed, dominated proceedings against a below form, Zhu Yuling, the no.7 seed (11-6, 11-3, 11-6, 12-10); the contest being enacted prior to compatriot Fan Zhendong performing at the level we witnessed earlier in the year against colleague, Ma Long, in the Men’s Singles final at the Liebherr World Championships.

The no.2 seed, at the final hurdle he beat Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov, the top seed and player who will top the January 2018 Men’s World Rankings, in straight games (11-7, 11-9, 11-7, 12-10). Thus he avenged the defeat of earlier in the year when at the Seamaster 2017 German Open, Dimitrij Ovtcharov had prevailed in a titanic struggle (13-11, 11-7, 7-11, 3-11, 11-9, 8-11, 15-13).

Success without great moments of drama; that was not the situation in the Men’s Doubles final. Winners in Lisbon two years ago, last year the runners up in Doha; Japan’s Masataka Morizono and Yuya Oshima, the no.2 seeds, saved no less than four match points against Hong Kong’s Ho Kwan Kit and Wong Chun Ting, the no.7 seeds before sealing victory.

The trailed by three games to two, in the sixth game they were behind 8-10; then won four points in a row, to steal the game; in the decisive seventh gamer they repeated the feat. Victory by the very narrowest of margins was the outcome (11-7, 6-11, 6-11, 12-10, 9-11, 12-10, 12-10).