China's 2-time Singapore Smash Women's Doubles Champions, Sun Yingsha (left) and Wang Manyu. Photo Credit : WTT
In the penultimate day of Singapore Smash 2023, the world number 1 women’s doubles team of Wang Manyu and Sun Yingsha (CHN) successfully defended their title after a thrilling battle on the Infinity ∞ Arena. This is Sun Yingsha’s 2nd trophy of the event after her mixed doubles crown on Thursday. Yingsha will be looking for a clean sweep of the trophies for the women’s categories when she takes on Qian Tianyi (CHN) in the final of the women’s singles on Sunday (19 Mar).
Wang Manyu and Sun Yingsha started their match slow, losing their first two games 5-11, 3-11. They turned the game around winning the next two games 11-9 and 11-4 before a tightly contested last game that could have gone either way. Spurred on by the loud cheers of their fans, the pair eventually won the 5th game 13-11 and the overall encounter, 3-2.
China's Women's Doubles duo Sun Yingsha and Wang Manyu at Singapore Smash 2023 Photo Credit : Team Nila Content Producer, Ron Low
In the post-match interview, Yingsha said, "We are very happy to have won this match. Both Manyu and I had just finished our semi-final matches for the women’s singles and we didn’t have much of a break. We weren’t as proactive in the opening games of the match. But to be able to turn it around after some adjustments in the third game and to eventually win the match in the 5th game with such tight margins is a good result for our partnership.”
China's Wang Chuqin and Fan Zhendong (Red) vs Korea's Jang Woojin and Lim Jonghoon at Singapore Smash 2023. Photo Credit : WTT
Fan Zhendong and Wang Chuqin (CHN) started the day’s proceedings with the final of the men’s doubles against the Korean duo of Jang Woojin and Lim Jonghoon. After losing their opening game, the Chinese stars battled hard to gain control of the second game. Thereafter, they didn’t look back and eventually took the title 3-1 (9-11, 13-11, 11-7, 11-4).
Chuqin said, “Even though it’s our second time winning the title, I’m still very happy with the win as it’s a testament to our training and our partnership. The first two games were crucial as we took some time to adjust to the opponent’s fighting spirit and playing style. The turning point was in the 2nd game where we levelled the scores. When we got to the third game, we took the initiative with more attacking play and got the slight upper hand and managed to open up the match a little. The Koreans have strong doubles teams and the opponents played really well. It made for a really great match between us.”
China's 2-time Singapore Smash Men's Doubles Champions, Wang Chuqin and Fan Zhendong. Photo Credit : WTT
Both Fan Zhendong and Wang Chuqin took to the Infinity ∞ Arena once more in the evening, but this time facing off each other instead of partners to earn a spot in the final for the men’s singles. And World No. 1 Zhendong prevailed in the challenge, winning the match 4 – 1 (11-6, 13-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-5).
The Singapore Smash is the first final in 2023 for Zhendong who said, “I’m very happy with my performance tonight. I’ve had some challenges recently and even in this event, there were also a few challenges along the way. I’ve been taking the time to think of different solutions to the challenges and I’m very pleased with how it went tonight. I will use the same approach and mindset to take on the match tomorrow.”
Hugo Calderano's 19-match winning streak ended at Singapore Smash 2023 Men's semi-finals. Photo Credit : Team Nila Content Producer, Ron Low
In the other semi-final for the men’s singles, world number 2, Ma Long (CHN), defeated Brazilian table tennis star, Hugo Calderano, 4 – 1 (11-6, 11-6, 11-4, 8-11, 11-8). Ma Long headed into this match without dropping a game in the event. While Calderano managed to break that record in the 4th game of their match, Ma Long didn’t let that faze him and went on to win the match in the fifth game. Prior to the event, he had shared in media interviews that he has adopted a more relaxed and balanced mindset in recent years and it is this same mentality he echoed after his win.
The women’s singles final between 23 year old Qian Tianyi and Sun Yingsha will start at 7pm on Sunday, while the men’s singles final between Zhendong and Ma Long, a rematch of the Singapore Smash 2023 men’s singles final, will follow after.
23 year old Qian Tianyi reaches Women's Final at Singapore Smash 2023. Photo Credit : WTT
The official Singapore Smash "After Party" will take place on the Infinity ∞ Arena, an hour after the last match of the evening. Party goers will be able to enjoy dance tunes by famed DJ Aldrin and drinks to celebrate the champions. Tickets are still available here.