Defending Champions Reach Doubles Finals again at Singapore Smash 2023!
Defending Singapore Smash Men's Doubles Champions Wang Chugin and Fan Zhendong. Photo Credit : Team Nila Content Producer, Ben Cho
The defending champions of Singapore Smash 2023 doubles events, will battle to retain their crowns in the doubles finals on Saturday (18 March), after winning in their respective semi-finals at the OCBC Arena on Friday (17 March).
Men’s doubles defending champions Wang Chuqin (CHN) and Fan Zhendong (CHN) defeated top seeds and world No. 1 Yukiya Uda (JPN) and Shunsuke Togami (JPN) 3-1 (12-10, 11-7, 9-11, 11-9) in a repeat of last year’s championship match. They will next face Jang Woojin (KOR) and Lim Jonghoon (KOR), who beat LIN Yun-Ju (TPE) and Chuang Chih-Yuan (TPE) 3-1 (13-11, 6-11, 13-11, 11-5), in the grand finale. And in the women’s doubles final, 2022 winners Sun Yingsha (CHN) and Wang Manyu (CHN) will face compatriots Chen Meng (CHN) and Wang Yidi (CHN).
Korean pair Jang Woojin and Lim Jonghoon at Singapore Smash 2023. Photo Credit : WTT
The singles quarter-finals at the Infinity ∞ Arena on Friday saw Qian Tianyi (CHN) knock out 13th-ranked Sofia Polcanova (AUT) 4-1 (8-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-5, 11-6). Ranked no 22, Tianyi will meet her compatriot Zhang Rui (CHN) in the 1st women’s singles semi-final. And the other semis clash will be played between women’s world No. 1 Sun Yingsha (CHN) and No. 3 Wang Manyu (CHN).
Onto the men's scene, world No. 2 Ma Long (CHN) played what he said was his best match in Singapore so far, defeating world No. 11 Dang Qiu (GER) 4-0 (11-2, 11-4, 11-4, 11-5). His semi-final opponent is Hugo Calderano (BRA), who delivered an inspired performance after fighting back from a 6-9 deficit in the second game, beating Quadri Aruna (NGR) 4-0. Men’s world No. 1 and defending singles champion Fan Zhendong (CHN) will face world No. 3 Wang Chuqin (CHN) in the other men’s semi-final.
Brazilian sensation Hugo Calderano at Singapore Smash 2023. Photo Credit : WTT
Hugo Calderano said, “A match against Ma Long is never easy. It's going to be a very tough match. I think he's playing really well in this tournament but so am I. I just have to believe in myself and I hope to play a great match. And of course I'll fight and try to win.”
Said Ma Long: “I’m getting into the zone on court and I’ve done what I set out to achieve, so I was more relaxed when I played today. I was able to apply many of the techniques I prepared, and I was in top physical condition today. Of course, it was very stressful on court. Despite that, I adapted well when it was needed on court. My semi-final opponent will be a good table tennis player, no matter who he is. In the meantime, I will focus on getting a good rest first.”
World No 2 Ma Long at Singapore Smash 2023. Photo Credit : Team Nila Content Producer, Ron Low
The men’s and women’s doubles finals take place on Saturday (18 March) at the Infinity ∞ Arena, with the singles semi-finals to be played as well. Tickets are available here.