DING Ning defended her crown in DusseldorfPhoto: Courtesy ITTF
LIEBHERR 2017 World Championships
Reigning World & Olympic Champion DING Ning has successfully defended her Women's Singles title today, at the LIEBHERR 2017 World Table Tennis Championships, claiming her third singles title.
DING faced off teammate & surprise finalist ZHU Yuling (CHN) in an enthralling final in front of the sellout crowd.
Participating in her third World Championships, this is only ZHU's first appearance in the Women's Singles final, losing to World number two LIU Shiwen in 2013 and 2015. In Düsseldorf, ZHU was determined to make her breakthrough, beating LIU 4-3 in the semifinals, hence preventing a rematch of the 2015 World Championships final between DING and LIU.
In the final battle for the Gold medal, DING pulled off an impressive performance taking the first game in dominant fashion 11-4, before ZHU recovered to take the next two 11-9, 11-4 respectively.
The duo continued to exchange fast rallies in the match, and it was DING who eventually prevailed to win the next three games and take the title 4-2 (11-4, 9-11, 4-11, 12-10, 11-6, 11-7).
"It's a very special win for me to take a third title! I'm really thankful to all my fans who have been cheering on for me throughout, giving me a lot of encouragement during my match. I feel Germany is also a lucky place for me, thank you Düsseldorf!" shared the world number one after the historic victory that puts her in line with legends DENG Yaping & WANG Nan with three World Championships titles under their belt. "I came here not expecting to win the World Championships for the third time. It really depended on my state of mind and condition and that of the opponents."