World Table Tennis: Liu Shiwen sets up final against Chen Meng

Liu Shiwen ousted defending champion and World No.1 Ding Ning, also of China, 6-11, 9-11, 11-5, 11-5, 11-0, 11-2 in the women’s semifinals of the ITTF-World championships.

“I did not expect the last two games to be this easy. We grew up together since a very young age. We had a lot of chances to train and play together. Ding Ning has won more times in the International competitions. I was lucky to win this time,” said Shiwen.   -  AFP

China’s Liu Shiwen ousted defending champion and World No.1 Ding Ning also of China 6-11, 9-11, 11-5, 11-5, 11-0, 11-2 in the women’s semifinals of the ITTF-World championships here on Friday.

The 28-year-old and World No.5 was humble enough to say that she was lucky to win this time, despite the fact that she played an attacking game, matching Ding's stroke for stroke and on many occasions, outplaying her.

“I did not expect the last two games to be this easy. We grew up together since a very young age. We had a lot of chances to train and play together. Ding Ning has won more times in the International competitions. I was lucky to win this time,” said Shiwen.

Ding, a three-time World champion, was all praise for her opponent and good friend. “Though I tried to think about solutions all the time and she apparently didn’t think too much after the loss of first two games. So she had a more relaxing play. Her style is quick, her balls were so quick with great placements,” she said. In the final, Shiwen will take on Chen Meng on Saturday.

Ma Long comes through

Meanwhile, in men's singles, star paddler Ma Long defeated Lin Gaoyuan 11-8, 11-9, 11-8,11-4. Ma Long will take on his country-mate and giant killer Jingkun Liang.

The 22-year-old World No.9 Liang who put it across World No.1 Fan Zhendong in in the round of 16 on Thursday, quelled a strong challenge from Japan’s Koki Niwa to win 12-10, 10-12, 11-8, 11-4, 9-11, 7-11,11-5 and enter the last four.

In the other men’s semifinals, Mattias Falck of Sweden will meet World No.157 Jaehyun An of South Korea. Earlier, the pair of Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen beat Maharu Yoshimura and Kasumi Ishikawa 11-5, 11-8, 9-11, 11-9, 11-4 to pocket the mixed doubles title.

The results: Men singles (Quarterfinals): Ma Long (Chn) bt Lin Gaoyuan (Chn) 11-8, 11-9, 11-8, 11-4; Jingkun Liang (Chn) bt Koki Niwa (Jpn) 12-10, 10-12, 11-8, 11-4, 9-11, 7-11,11-5; Mattias Flack (Swe) bt Simon Gauzy (Fra) 11-8, 11-13, 12-10, 10-12, 7-11, 11-3, 11-5, 8-11,12-10; Jaehyun An (Kor) bt Woojin Jang (Kor) 12-10, 10-12, 7-11, 11-3, 11-5, 8-11, 12-10. Women singles (Semifinals): Liu Shiwen (Chn) bt Ding Ning (Chn) 6-11, 9-11, 11-5, 11-5, 11-0, 11-2;Chen Meng (Chn) bt Manyu Wang (Chn) 11-5, 11-7, 11-5, 11-8.