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April 8, 2019

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Chinese paddlers sweep titles at Asian Cup in Japan

The Chinese paddlers swept both the men’s and women’s singles titles at the Asian Cup tournament in Yokohama, Japan, yesterday.

Fan Zhendong beat teammate Ma Long 9-11, 12-10, 9-11, 11-7, 11-8 and 12-10 in the men’s final, while Zhu Yuling retained her crown by triumphing over compatriot Chen Meng 15-13, 4-11, 11-5, 11-8, 7-11 and 11-6.

The men’s final got off to an anxious opening as Ma won the first game but failed to convert two game points to lose the second for a 1-1 tie. After Fan led the third game 4-0, Ma caught up 5-5, fought to 9-9 before winning two straight points for a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven final. Then came the moments for Fan who won three games in a row to seal the match and defend his Asian Cup title.

“It’s not easy to win over Ma Long. I’m glad to defend the Asian Cup title,” said Fan.

En route to the final, Fan beat Tomokazu Harimoto of Japan 4-1 while Ma defeated Koki Niwa of Japan 4-0 in the semifinals on Saturday.

“Winning the Asian Cup will boost my confidence in preparing for the World Table Tennis Championships,” Fan said, adding he hopes to win both the singles and mixed doubles titles at the championships to be held in Budapest by the end of the month.

By beating Chen 4-2, Zhu won the women’s singles Asian Cup title for the third time in a row as both players know each other quite well since childhood.

Zhu said she hopes to win her triple title in the World Cup, for which she was not included for the women’s singles in the coming World Cup to be held in Chengdu in October.


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