Title Defended, Chen Meng Champion Once Again

Chen Meng (right) wins second Grand Finals title in a row (Photo: ITTF)

Gold medallist in 2017, China’s Chen Meng has been crowned Women’s Singles champion at the 2018 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals in Incheon after emerging victorious against tournament newcomer He Zhuojia in the final.

Accounting for fellow compatriots Chen Xingtong, Wang Manyu and Zhu Yuling on her way to the final, Chen Meng knew that she had eliminated some of her biggest rivals in the process but at the final hurdle an air of unpredictability awaited.

Making her Grand Finals debut He Zhuojia, also of China, opened her campaign with a solid outing against the host nation’s Suh Hyowon before claiming major upsets against Japan’s Kasumi Ishikawa and reigning World and Olympic champion Ding Ning to reserve her spot in the gold medal contest.

Chen Meng and He Zhuojia had met on the World Tour on one prior occasion at the 2018 Hungarian Open at the start of the year with the former of the two claiming a 4-2 victory on the day – in Incheon the margin was slightly greater.

Despite falling to an opening game defeat, Chen Meng responded in style with four consecutive game wins to lift the trophy once again (9-11, 11-5, 11-8, 12-10, 11-7).

Victory in Incheon means that Chen Meng becomes only the fourth player to successfully defend the Women’s Singles title at the Grand Finals joining Zhang Yining, Guo Yan and Liu Shiwen in achieving the feat.

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