Fan Zhendong Takes ITTF World Tour Double Gold ahead of 21st BirthdayPhoto: Courtesy ITTF
World number two FAN Zhendong (CHN) has taken both the Men's Singles and Men's Doubles Gold at the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Hungarian Open in Budapest today, 21 January as the perfect celebration ahead of his 21st birthday tomorrow.
The top seed faced surprise finalist WANG Chuqin (CHN), who had managed to fight his way through to the final from the qualification stage. Determined to take the title in Budapest, FAN was all pumped up in the final against WANG, giving WANG little chance to fight back, and prevailed 4-1 (11-6, 9-11, 11-7, 14-12, 11-3).
The 20-year-old shared after his victory, "It's a very good start of the year and nice way to celebrate my birthday! Both of us played at a very high level but I was able to make a good start in the third and fifth game, taking momentum and the eventual victory."
Together with his teammate YU Ziyang, FAN also claimed the Men's Doubles title. The Chinese pair proved too strong for Belarussian pair Pavel PLATONOV and Vladimir SAMSONOV in the final hurdle for gold, winning 3-0 (11-5, 11-5, 11-4) to take the crown.
In a rematch of the 2017 World Junior Championships Girls' Singles Final, WANG Manyu (CHN) took revenge for her bitter loss in Riva del Garda last year against compatriot SUN Yingsha to claim her second ITTF World Tour title.
As with the previous encounters, the Women's Singles final today saw incredibly fast rallies during the clash, with both players trying to take the lead to stay ahead. It was the more experienced WANG who eventually came back from 2-3 down to take the title 4-3 (9-11, 11-6, 10-12, 11-8, 9-11, 11-8, 11-4).
SUN didn't return home empty-handed as she claimed the Women's Doubles title together with teammate CHEN Xingtong (CHN), sweeping WANG and CHEN Ke 3-0 (14-12, 11-8, 11-8).
The 2018 Hungarian Open is the first of 12 events on the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour where the world's best table tennis players compete to earn valuable World Ranking points and World Tour ranking points to be among the top 16 to qualify for the prestigious World Tour Grand Finals at the end of the season.
With the conclusion of the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Hungarian Open, all attention now turns to the 2018 Team World Cup to be staged in London from 22 – 25 February 2018 at the Copper Box Arena.