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World No. 1 Fan ousted while all-Chinese final set in women's singles at WTT Champions Incheon

IANS | March 31, 2024 11:41 AM

INCHEON: World No. 1 Fan Zhendong came out the first Chinese paddler shown the door out at the WTT Champions Incheon after losing to Brazil's Hugo Calderano 4-2 here in the men's singles semifinals.

The top seed got off to a bad start against Calderano, losing three sets in a row, 11-6, 11-8, 11-9. Despite his endeavors to turn around the tide with scores of 11-6, 11-8 in the following two, Fan failed to come back, went down to the Brazilian top player 11-5 in the sixth set and swallowed the failure, reports Xinhua.

"It was really important to start 3-0 up. It's really hard for anyone to come back from 3-0 down. But of course, there's one reason why he's one of the best in the world, so I know he could come back, and I just had to keep cool, keep fighting, keep playing my level, good tactics and good variation, " Calderano said after the victory.

In the men's final, Calderano will take on second-seeded Chinese paddler Liang Jingkun, who edged past his compatriot and third seed Ma Long 4-3 (11-5, 11-8, 11-13, 5-11, 8-11, 11-6, 11-7).

"After notching two wins at the beginning, I sort of started to leave things to chance and luck, and as a result, I lost the following three sets. Then I quickly adjusted my mentality and fought hard point by point and finally sealed the victory, " Liang said.

On women's part, China's Sun Yingsha and Wang Manyu defeated their compatriots Wang Yidi and Chen Meng respectively to set up an all-Chinese women's singles final. Sun walked away from Wang Yidi 4-0 (11-9, 11-9, 12-10, 11-7), while second-seeded Wang Manyu bested fourth seed Chen 4-2 (11-5, 13-15, 7-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-3).

"I played normally throughout the match and dealt well with the pace and the drop points. I will go all out and show the best of myself in the final match, " Sun said.

In the quarterfinals staged earlier, the top seed and world. No. 1 edged past Japan's fifth seed Hina Hayata 3-2, while Wang notched an easy win over Austria's Sofia Polcanova 3-0 in only 21 minutes to set up the semifinal showdown against Sun.

As the first WTT Champions Series event on the 2024 calendar, the world's top players gathered in Incheon to battle for a prize pool of 300, 000 US dollars, while the champions will also earn 1, 000 ITTF world ranking points each.

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