(by Steve Hopkins, photo from ITTFWorld)
Table tennis is officially back. The first of the ITTF Restart events has ended as the Dishang 2020 ITTF Women’s World Cup concluded on Tuesday. Chen Meng defeated Sun Yingsha in the final 4-1, a victory of World No. 1 over World No. 3.
The two Chinese players were dominant early, with Chen Meng logging two 4-0 wins, and Sun Yingsha making the Semifinals after 4-1 and 4-0 wins. The Semifinals were tighter matches. Sun Yingsha (World No. 3) was a slight underdog to Mima Ito (World No. 2) and the match may have hinged on a 12-10 opening game win for Sun. The momentum from that game extended to a 3-0 lead before Ito fought back. The final score was 4-2.
The other Semifinal was World No. 1 against the surprise of the tournament, as Chen Meng was pushed to the limit by German’s Han Ying. Ying won the opening game and then played 5 great games before stumbling in game 7. The 4-3 win for Chen Meng (-4, 8, 8, 9, -7, -9, 4) may have been the best match of the tournament – and it wasn’t with one of the favorites, it was against Germany’s second best player, World No. 25 Han Ying.
In the Final, Sun Yingsha won the opening game but it was all Chen Meng after that as she ran off 4 straight for the 4-1 victory.
The story for USA was that we had two players participating and both advanced out of the Group Stage. In fact, both Americans advanced out of their groups after moving up one seeding spot by scoring an early upset. For Lily Zhang, her win over Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz moved her from her second seeded spot up to first position. For Jennifer Wu, she was seeded third and not expected to advance, but a win over Petrissa Solja of Germany catapulted her into the main draw from the second position. And Lily Zhang turned heads with her 4-2 win over World No. 9 Feng Tianwei.
It is a great result for TeamUSA to have two players reach the Final 16 – and even better that Lily reached the Quarterfinals. In fact, the two losses that eliminated the Americans were both against players in the Top 10 in the World. Congratulations to both Lily Zhang and Jennifer Wu.
The action is just beginning – tune in this weekend for the Men’s World Cup.
ITTF TV has been following the matches via livestream.
Check in at ButterflyOnline.com for updates on the progress of this event and other events.
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