International Events | 20 Mar 2022
Chen Meng and Fan Zhendong Win Singapore Smash Singles Titles
Singapore Smash came to a conclusion as Olympic gold medallist Chen Meng and men's world No. 1 Fan Zhendong were crowned the singles champions in front of a packed Infinity Arena. World No. 2 Chen Meng beat fourth-ranked world champion Wang Manyu 4-3 (11-9, 8-11, 11-9, 11-8, 6-11, 9-11, 11-8) for the women's title, while men's world champion Fan Zhendong defeated two-time Olympic singles champion Ma Long 4-3 (11-6, 11-6, 6-11, 9-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-7).
Fan Zhendong, who lost to Ma Long said: "This is a very meaningful win for me. It's my first time playing against Ma Long since Tokyo 2020, and the atmosphere was very good. There were some opportunities that I didn't quite seize in the fourth and fifth games. For the sixth game I was just focused on winning one point at a time, because I knew it was important to turn things around. Ma Long is someone worthy of respect, both as an opponent and team-mate. There are many things I can learn from him in terms of attitude as well as his techniques, and I'll continue to put in effort to be more like him."
Local fans had plenty to cheer for as well, with Singapore men's doubles pair Clarence Chew and Ethan Poh beat the 2019 World Championship finalists, Spaniard Alvaro Robles and Romanian Ovidiu Ionescu, en route to the quarter-finals. They put up a valiant fight before falling to Chinese pair Fan Zhendong, the men's singles world No. 1, and Wang Chuqin.
Fan favourite Ni Xia Lian of Luxembourg, who reached the women's doubles semi-finals with compatriot Sarah De Nutte, added: "We are very happy to be here and we're very appreciative that this event is happening during such a difficult period. Everybody has worked so hard and spent time and energy, and we've received so much help. People in Singapore are so warm and we are always moved. I just feel sorry we don't have much time to return the warmth to the people, but what we can do is we play our best to show our appreciation, and we hope people love our game."