Chinese dominate Kuwait Open Zhang, Liu win titles as Japanese pair fall

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 18: The reigning Olympic and World Champion Zhang Jike of China defeated his compatriot Ma Long 6-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-8, 11-4 to clinch Men’s Singles title at the ITTF 2013 World Tour of Kuwait Open on Monday. Long made a fast start by taking the first game sensing danger, Zhang up his game level to take the second  game after a hard battle. The pair traded blow for a blow to the delight of the fans with the advantage in favor of Zhang. There was no turning back for Zhang as he went on to win the third and fourth games. It was the eighth final for Zhang with five victories and three losses.

Meanwhile, China’s Liu Shiwen defeated Singapore’s Feng Tianwei 4-11, 12-10, 11-8, 11-2, 3-11, 11-8 to reign supreme in the in a classic women’s final. Feng was in imperious form in winning the first game easily. Liu held her nerves to claim the second which could have gone either way from there Liu was in ascendancy as she grabbed the third and fourth games. Feng responded after these hiccups to dominate the fifth game. The sixth game was a ding dong off affair with Liu coming on top to win the title.

There were surprise winners in the men’s doubles as Xu, Xin and Yan An upset the top seeds Ma Long and Zhang Jike 6-11, 11-9, 12-10, 11-4. After losing the game many thought it was going to be easy day for the top seeds but the third seeds had different ideas as they fought back to win the last three games. In women’s doubles final Japanese pairing of Kaumi Ishikawa and Misaki Morizono fell to China’s Ding Ning and Li Xiaoxia 11-4, 11-5, 11-9. After two easy game victories, the Japanese duo lifted their game to give the Chinese pair hard battle, but their brave effort fell short.

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