ITTF World Cup: Wang Manyu and Ma Long Shine in Semifinals

The ITTF World Cup witnessed a captivating night of table tennis action as the tournament inched towards its climactic finale.

Women’s Singles Semifinals Recap

In the Women’s Singles semifinals, debut participant Wang Manyu ignited the stage with a stunning victory over Miwa Harimoto, securing her place in the final. Despite Harimoto’s tenacity, Wang displayed remarkable composure and resilience to clinch the win.

“I was expecting a fierce match today, and Miwa Harimoto was also playing well, which didn’t surprise me. All the way up to Game 6, I faced a lot of difficulties. I kept telling myself, just see if I can make it. When I landed that killer blow and won the last point, it felt like my mind went blank. I thought my tactics were pretty solid today, but in the third game, I got off to a great start and the second game went by quickly, but then I lost the third set. Then things got really tight. Game 6 was a real challenge, but I’m really satisfied with how I secured those 10 points. It’s about challenging myself while staying calm to execute my tactics better,” shared an elated Wang Manyu.

Women’s Singles Final Preview

Wang will now face off against the World No. 1, Sun Yingsha, in a repeat of the 2020 Women’s World Cup final. Sun avenged her previous loss, defeating defending champion Chen Meng in an enthralling 4-2 encounter (11-13, 12-10, 11-6, 1-11, 14-12, 11-9).

“I think both Chen Meng and I played really well in this match. Every point exchange in all six games was just fantastic. I did lose by a big margin in Game 4, but honestly, I still feel like I played well. Chen Meng was just better on that one. Anyway, I’m happy I won the match. We know each other’s game very well. So it’s normal for either of us to be behind or ahead. We’ve trained together and lived together, so we can even anticipate each other’s ball trajectories,” expressed Sun Yingsha.

Men’s Singles Semifinals Highlights

In the Men’s Singles, Ma Long delivered a mesmerizing performance, overpowering World No. 1 Wang Chuqin with a flawless 4-0 victory (11-9, 12-10, 11-6, 14-12) to secure his fifth Men’s World Cup final. Ma Long will face off against compatriot Lin Gaoyuan, who secured his debut final appearance with a commanding win over Tomokazu Harimoto.

“I feel overall I played very relaxed today, not just playing well but also very relaxed. I know I’ve lost to Wang Chuqin quite a few times before, so today I just felt more at ease. I used a lot of techniques on the court that I don’t normally use, and they were very effective. I managed to pull off some crucial points, which I think gave Wang a different feeling compared to our previous encounters. My goal before the match was to at least try to win one or two games,” reflected Ma Long.

With the stage set for an exhilarating finale, table tennis enthusiasts can anticipate a thrilling clash for glory on the final day of the ITTF World Cup.

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