Chen Meng and Fan Zhendong World Tour Grand Finals champions again

Three consecutive titles for Chen Meng (Photo: ITTF)

Women’s Singles Champion in 2017 and 2018, China’s Chen Meng has emerged as gold medallist at the 2019 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals in Zhengzhou.

Seeded third for the event, Chen Meng opened her campaign with an incredible comeback display from 1-3 down to beat Qian Tianyi 4-3 before accounting for World Champion Liu Shiwen by the same score-line. At the semi-final hurdle Chen needed just the five games to see off Japanese teenager star Mima Ito.

Her opponent in the gold medal contest was another Chinese player in the form of Wang Manyu – the two had met four times already in 2019 with all encounters favouring Chen and this one was no different with the World No.1 claiming a 4-1 victory (11-9, 11-6, 11-6, 9-11, 11-6).

“I have not played against her (Wang Manyu) for the past half year. It was a tough match. We are both in good condition. After a tricky first game, I managed to adjust myself and settle into the match. I am happy to win three consecutive Grand Finals titles. I experienced some ups and downs in the last six months. This title for sure will give me more confidence towards next season. I will fight really hard hopefully to get qualified for Tokyo 2020.” – Chen Meng

Fan Zhendong outclasses opposition in Zhengzhou (Photo: ITTF)

Hosts China also took the plaudits in the race for Men’s Singles glory as Fan Zhendong added a second title to his collection, having also won in 2017.

Germany’s Timo Boll, Brazil’s Hugo Calderano and fellow Chinese competitor Lin Gaoyuan all fell at the hands of Fan Zhendong in the lead up to the final where World and Olympic Champion Ma Long awaited.

In what proved to be a sensational season-ending affair, Fan produced one of his best performances to date to prevail 4-1 (11-6, 12-10, 11-6, 6-11, 11-8).

“It is never easy to play against Ma Long. As you saw, he played at a very high level on Saturday. I just focused on myself and played very patiently. I gave my best. As you know, I have experienced a lot of ups and downs this year. I learnt a lot of lessons from this period and I hope I can turn these lessons to my fortune.” – Fan Zhendong

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