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Table Tennis: Ding Ning wins Women’s World Cup for second time

World No. 1 Ding Ning of China won the Women’s World Cup for the second time in four years after again defeating compatriot Li Xiaoxia in the final. Photo: Agentur Diener.

World No. 1 Ding Ning of China won the Women’s World Cup for the second time in four years after again defeating compatriot Li Xiaoxia in the final. Photo: Agentur Diener.

October 20, 2014: World No. 1 Ding Ning lifted the ITTF Women’s World Cup for the second time in four years after beating Olympic champion Li Xiaoxia 4-1 in Sunday’s final in Linz, Austria, as the tournament was held outside Asia for the first time.

 

The left-handed Ding downed Li 11-9, 11-4, 11-9, 9-11, 11-9 an all-Chinese final in front of a capacity crowd at the Sportzentrum Lissfeld arena.

 

The match was a close-fought affair, with four of the games keenly contested, and marked Ding’s 11th victory over the World No. 3 in 19 meetings, including the 2011 final in Singapore.

 

“I am very happy to have won the Women’s World Cup for a second time,” said the 24-year-old Ding, who succeeded 2012 and 2013 champion Liu Shiwen. “It is always tough playing against Li. We have had many battles in the past and I am very glad that I won this one.”

 

As well as two World Cup finals, Ding also beat Li in the final of the 2011 ITTF World Championships, while the latter was victorious when the pair met in the London 2012 final.

 

Ding also has fond memories of Linz, where she won the 2005 ITTF World Junior Championships, a major step on her road to international stardom.

 

“I have always had fantastic experiences here in Linz,” Ding said. “I hope I can come back here to play more tournaments and win more titles.”

 

Third seed Kasumi Ishikawa, the World No. 10, won the bronze by edging Hungary’s surprise contender Georgina Pota 4-3 (11-9, 8-11, 6-11, 11-3, 7-11, 11-9, 11-4). The Japanese was pleased to make the podium, but is determined to do better next year.

 

“Overall I am very happy, but next year I hope to reach the final,” smiled Ishikawa, who paid tribute to her opponent after twice falling behind in the seven-game battle.

 

“Georgina made few unforced errors. You must force the errors when you play against her. Her backhand is special, very strong, and her serves are difficult to read. I had to be aggressive and play point by point.”

 

The men next take centre stage as Liebherr ITTF Men’s World Cup kicks off on Friday in Dusseldorf, Germany.

 

Source: ITTF (www.ittf.com); Editing by SportAsia

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