DOHA — Top seeds Fan Zhendong and Chen Meng lived up to their rankings after claiming the men’s and women’s singles championships respectively at the ITTF World Tour Platinum Qatar Open here on Sunday.
The second-ranked Fan proved himself a consistent paddler in the men’s event, staying rock solid in the semifinals to beat 19-year-old Chinese teammate Wang Chuqin 7-11, 8-11, 11-6, 14-12, 11-7, 11-9 before overcoming England’s Liam Pitchford 11-9, 11-7, 8-11, 11-4, 6-11, 11-7 in the final.
Chen Meng, the current world No 1, also underlined the fact that she’s the complete player as she beat Mima Ito of Japan in emphatic style, prevailing 3-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-7, 11-7 in the women’s singles final.
With the championship victory, Chen maintained her perfect record against the Japanese teenage sensation, who is considered one of the greatest threats to China’s excellence and upset Olympic and world champion Ding Ning in four straight sets on Saturday to make the final.
It was Pitchford, however, who stole the spotlight at the Aspire Academy on Sunday.
The 26-year-old stunned world No. 1 Xu Xin 3-11, 11-7, 11-9, 6-11, 15-13, 11-9 in their men’s singles semifinal encounter.
A week ago, Pitchford retained his men’s singles title at the English National Championships.