Liu Shiwen - 2015 Women's World Cup Champion
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Liu Shiwen – 2015 Women’s World Cup Champion

Liu Shiwen – 2015 Women’s World Cup Champion!

Liu Shiwen – 2015 Women’s World Cup Champion!
2015 Women’s World Cup
Courtesy of ITTF

Liu Shiwen Maintains Perfect Record, Wins for Fourth Time, Joins Legends

The top seed, China’s Liu Shiwen was anointed once again the Women’s World Cup winner; she emerged successful in the Japanese city of Sendai on the afternoon of Sunday November 1st.

At the final hurdle in front of approaching 1,400 spectators in the Xebio Arena, she beat the host nation’s Kasumi Ishikawa, the no.4 seed (14-12, 11-2, 11-9, 11-2) to maintain her unbeaten record in the event.

She has now competed in the prestigious annual competition on four occasions and on each occasion she has secured the top prize. She has now played a total of 21 matches, she has won all 21; it is a quite remarkable record.

On debut she won in Guangzhou in 2009, before succeeding in consecutive years in 2012 in Huangshi and in 2013 in Kobe.

Illustrious Names
Furthermore, she now ranks alongside compatriots Wang Nan and Zhang Yining as the only players who have won the title four times.

Wang Nan won in 1997 in Shanghai, the following year in Taipei City, in 2003 in Hong Kong and in 2007 in Chengdu; Zhang Yining succeeded in 2001 in Wuhu, in 2002 in Singapore, in 2004 in Xiaoshan and in 2005 in Guangzhou.

Difficult Games
“The first and third games were difficult”, said Liu Shiwen. “At the vital times I really had to make sure that I was positive; certainly it is a greater honor to be named alongside Wang Nan and Zhang Yining.”

Liu Shiwen, to her credit, responded when crisis loomed.

“I led 10-9 in the first game”, sighed Kasumi Ishikwawa. “I had a chance, I missed the chance but Liu Shiwen is a superb player, overall I have to be pleased with my efforts in this tournament.”

First Japanese Player in Final
It is the first time that a Japanese player has reached the final; the previous best being Kasumi Ishikawa herself and Ai Fukuhara.

One year ago in Linz, Kasumi Ishikawa finished in third place; in 2005 in Guangzhou when on debut Ai Fukuhara achieved the same finish.

First Win
Success for Liu Shiwen followed success for Petrissa Solja; the no.12 seed, she recovered from a two games to nil deficit to beat Li Jiao of the Netherlands, the no.13 seed (7-11, 6-11, 11-2, 11-8, 12-10, 11-8).

“I’ve never beaten Li Jiao in the past; I’ve played her twice in ITTF events and twice in Super League matches”, said Petrissa Solja. “Always I lost.”

In 2014 they met in the third place contest at the DHS European Cup in Lausanne and earlier this year in the Women’s Singles at the European Games in Baku; in the former it was a straight games outcome, in the latter a six games verdict.

Play for Long Points
“Her service is good and at the start of the match I played too fast; after losing the first two games I tried to play more consistently, play for longer points.”

Petrissa Solja recovered with an experience of one day earlier seemingly having an effect.

Thoughts of Day Earlier
“At two-nil down I thought about the match against Ai Fukuhara, I was three-nil down and came back to win so I thought to myself I can do it again”, added Petrissa Solja. “The fifth game was crucial, I led 10-7, she came back to 10-10 and then I won the next two points; it’s been a good tournament for me, very pleased.”

A delighted Petrissa Solja, it was a slightly disappointed Li Jiao.

Gap Too Short
“The time gap was too short”, said Li Jiao who clearly very tired towards the end of the final.

“I played the second semi-final this morning”, she added. “I think really there should have been one hour more between the two sessions of play.”

Best Ever Finish
However, for Li Jiao in her seventh appearance, it was her best ever finish; her previous best being in Guangzhou in 2009 when beaten at the quarterfinal stage by China’s Li Xiaoxia.

Furthermore, she is the only player from the Netherlands ever to compete in the Women’s World Cup.

Likewise, it was the best ever finish for Petrissa Solja who made her debut one year ago in Linz. In the Austrian city she reached the first round, losing to Li Xiaoxia.

Also, for Petrissa Solja, it is the best ever performance by German player, the previous highest finish was a quarterfinal finish achieved by Jing Tian-Zörner in 1998 in Taipei City and by Wu Jiaduo in 2011 in Singapore.

Third European
Third place for Petrissa Solja means she is third player representing a European country to achieve the feat.

In 2001 Romania’s Mihaela Steff secured third place, in 2012 it was the finished achieved by Spain’s Shen Yanfei.

Quotes of the Day
2016 Women’s World Cup: 
Quotes of the Day – Sunday November 1st

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