Panagyurishte, Bulgaria, Aug 19, 2018: After coming close on two occasions this year, reigning Olympic and World Champion Ding Ning Breaks Duck (CHN) finally overcomes her title drought by defeating compatriot WANG Yidi to clinch the Women’s Singles Gold.
In the final hurdle today against WANG, DING dug deep to close the match 11-7, 10-12, 8-11, 11-8, 11-6, 4-11, 11-2 in front of a packed arena to take the crown.
A visibly elated DING said after the match “I am very happy to win my first Bulgaria Open title, it is also my first time in Bulgaria.
Both the fans and the atmosphere in the venue really made it a memorable experience for me.
Fresh from his victory in Australia, he swept aside the competition, dropping just 5 games along the way.
Facing Kenta MATSUDAIRA who was playing in his third Bulgaria Open Final, the in-form Japanese was unable to disrupt XU’s rhythm, falling to a 4-1 (12-10, 10-12, 11-8, 11-6, 11-4) defeat.
Disappointment for MATSUDAIRA again but it was a deserved victory for XU (Ding Ning Breaks Duck).
“The desire to win today was greater than before especially after winning the Australian Open and getting my confidence up.
My coach and all the leaders in the team have been encouraging me and I am very thankful to them.”
Earlier in the day, XU had also paired up with Grand Slam Champion MA Long to claim the Men’s Doubles trophy.
It was a match between the top 2 seeds at the Bulgaria Open, with Japan’s Masataka MORIZONO & Yuya OSHIMA occupying the top seed.
A 11-5 win in the first game for the Japanese pair seemed to justify their status but it was XU & MA who found another gear, winning the next three 11-4, 11-8, 11-6 to take the title.
Japanese duo Kasumi ISHIKAWA & Mima ITO prevented the clean sweep for China by winning the Women’s Doubles event.
Despite losing the first game, the pair rallied to record a 10-12, 11-7, 11-7, 11-6 victory over China’s LIU Gaoyang & ZHANG Rui. —- ITTF
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