WTT Singapore Smash got wide coverage on the social media accounts of World Table Tennis, and deservedly so. This tournament brought some exciting matchups and surprising results.
Some of the underdogs managed to pull out surprising victories over higher-ranked opponents. The 20-year old Japanese talent Yukiya Uda was able to overcome the experienced German legend Timo Boll (World Ranked 9th) in the Round of 32. He eventually reached the semifinals stage, where he lost to the World Ranking leader Fan Zhendong.
One of the favorites of this tournament, the Brazilian star Hugo Calderano (WR 3) was knocked out in the Round of 64 by the Portuguese player Joao Geraldo (WR 62) 3-2. However, the successful run by Geraldo was cut short in the next round against the Swedish international Kristian Karlsson.
Other surprises in the singles event included the loss of Tomokazu Harimoto (WR 4) to the American table tennis star Kanak Jha (WR 30), Benedikt Duda’s (WR 42) win against the vice-champion of the latest WTTC Truls Moregardh (WR 14), and Korea’s Lim Jonghoon’s (WR 59) confident performance against the Chinese star Lin Gaoyuan (WR 8) 3-0.
The battle for the trophy, traditionally, was fought between the two of the best players in the world right now – the current and the former World champions Fan Zhendong and Ma Long. Both of them had some ups and downs on their way to the final. Ma Long had close wins against Wang Chuqin and Lin Yun-Ju, while Fan Zhendong had a tough time against the Korean An Jaehyun in the Round of 16.
The final itself was everything the fans in Singapore could have asked for. A seven-set thriller with several lead changes. At some points of the game, it seemed like Fan Zhendong can take this one smoothly, while Ma Long later showed his ability and mental resilience to make a comeback. Still, the final word was said by Fan Zhendong, who won the decisive set 11-7 and earned his 15th singles title in his career. Earlier, he also got some extra joy after winning the doubles event together with Wang Chuqin. They won the final against the Japanese duo Yukiya Uda and Shunsuke Togami 3-1.
The German duo Benedikt Duda and Dang Qiu also enjoyed a successful run, winning the bronze medals in the doubles event. They showed some solid resistance against the eventual champions in the semifinals.
Fan Zhendong once again proved that he is deservedly considered the best player in the world right now, but he displayed plenty of respect to his Chinese teammate: “I hope that the audience enjoyed this game and Ma Long also deserves the applause for his performance. Every time I play against him, it becomes a learning experience for me. Today’s match was very challenging for me, and there were moments when I fell behind. I am very happy to win this title in Singapore”.
WTT SINGAPORE SMASH
Fan Zhendong/Wang Chuqin
Shunsuke Togami/Yukiya Uda
Benedikt Duda/Dang Qiu
Chuang Chih-Yuan/Chen Chien-An
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