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Table Tennis: Xu Xin wins 11th World Tour title at Japan Open

Xu Xin ended the surprise run of local youngster Maharu Yoshimura at the Japan Open. Photo: ITTF.

Xu Xin ended the surprise run of local youngster Maharu Yoshimura at the Japan Open. Photo: ITTF.

June 29, 2015: World No. 2 Xu Xin broke the hearts of the capacity crowd in Kobe by defeating local hero Maharu Yoshimura in the men’s singles final at the Japan Open, a Super Series event on this year’s GAC Group World Tour.

 

Xu won his 11th ITTF World Tour title with a 4-1 win (9-11, 11-2, 14-12, 11-7, 11-7 ) over 22-year-old Yoshimura, who made his way to the final from the qualification stage.

 

“This is my first Japan Open, so it is very special for me to win here. Yoshimura played amazingly well. He is still young and is going to be a big rival to me and the Chinese team in the future,” said Xu, who won both the men’s doubles and mixed doubles titles at this year’s World Championships.

 

“He surprised me in the first set and the large crowd supporting him put me off my game a little. I made some adjustments in the second game and I was very relieved when I won it, to make it 1-1, as then I believed I could win. Winning World Tour titles are always a great feeling.”

 

Chen Meng, 21, proved she’s still a top force by winning the women’s singles, despite not being selected for the singles line-up at the World Championships.

 

Chen won a tight seven-game battle (13-11, 6-11, 5-11, 11-4, 11-5, 6-11, 11-7) against compatriot Zhu Yuling to win her fifth World Tour title, having shocked World No. 1 Ding Ning in the semi-final.

 

“To win the tournament is very important, but more than that is to improve as a player in each match, which will hopefully lead to becoming world champion one day,” Chen said. “My last two matches were very tough, so I am happy to win. This victory will give me a lot of confidence in the future.”

 

Xu also won the men’s doubles with world champion Ma Long, who made up for his shocking second-round defeat in the singles, his first defeat in 2015. The duo beat Chinese colleagues Fan Zhendong and Shang Kun 4-1 (11-8, 13-11, 7-11, 10-12, 11-8).

 

China’s defensive pair of Liu Fei and Wu Yang continued China’s golden day by defeating Singapore’s Lin Ye and Zhou Yihan 3-1 (11-6, 7-11, 11-9, 11-5) to win the women’s doubles title in their first tournament together.

 

With China sweeping the titles in the main events, Japan shone in the under 21 category. Hitomi Sato won her fourth consecutive under-21 women’s title and seventh overall, while Yuya Oshima (JPN) made up for losing the under 21-final in the two previous World Tour events to win in front of his home crowd.

 

The Korea Open in Incheon is the next event on the GAC Group World Tour.

 

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

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