Stage Set To Crown WTT Champions First-Ever Title Winners
Saturday, WTT Champions will crown its first-ever title winners. After five days of intense action and four superb semi-finals, Lin Gaoyuan (CHN), Tomokazu Harimoto (JPN), Wang Manyu (CHN), and Wang Yidi (CHN) have reached the finals.
The night started with an epic clash between World champion Wang Manyu and Olympic gold medallist Chen Meng (CHN). It was a rematch of the Singapore Smash final, which saw Chen lifting the trophy. The tension in the Infinity Arena was palpable, and this time Wang prevailed 4-3 over Chen Meng (4-11, 7-11, 11-5, 11-9, 9-11, 11-7, 11-6).
World No. 3 Wang Manyu commented, “It was the same score as our last meeting at Singapore Smash, but neither of us is in her best form due to our physical problems, so I had a bit of luck as Chen Meng isn’t in her best form. I called the time out at a crucial point in the third game after Meng came back from 6-1 down as she began to show some of her good forms from the beginning of the match, so I just tried to calm myself down and put myself in the best position to win the game.”
“I am already very satisfied with my performance because last week I also reached the semi-final of the WTT Star Contender ESS 2022. Since I am now in the final, I am hoping for a better one. Before the matches, I managed to conquer many difficulties and all the injuries. And I made it to the end. I am really happy”
In the first men’s semi-final of the night, Lin Gaoyuan produced a devastating start (11-0). His opponent Chuang Chih-Yuan (TPE) had no response and lost the next three games 11-6, 11-6, 11-7.
Lin Gaoyuan, reaching a final for the first time in the WTT Series, said, “I had a thorough preparation. I expected at least five games or even more. I did not expect that it would be that smooth. I was thinking about what I prepared for, about the tactics, skills, and videos of my opponent. And I wanted everything to get out, and it led to this result. I would say I am in my best form and feel more involved as I play more matches.”
It was then a rematch between World No.1 Sun Yingsha (CHN) and Wang Yidi as they recently met in the final of the WTT Star Contender European Summer Series 2022 (ESS 2022). Spectators and fans were treated to another thriller of a match. Wang Yidi won the title last week, and recorded another impressive win tonight, and secured her passage to the Women’s Singles final (10-12, 11-8, 11-8, 7-11, 11-2, 13-15, 11-8).
Wang Yidi said, “The key difference is the mindset, not overthinking and playing my own game. Just focus on the match and do my best. This was an exciting match, and we played the full distance. I lost to her many times in the past. Coming into the match, the mindset is different. I’m here to challenge and try to get a win off her. The atmosphere here at the arena is great. There are many fans here, so I’m going to enjoy the match, play my own game and do my best.”
Harimoto fended off a challenge from Patrick Franziska (GER) and is through to his first title match since the 2021 WTT Cup Finals last December. “In the sixth set, I started to play a little defensive, so I knew that at the end I have no choice but to attack,” Harimoto explained. “Maybe that decided the match. The Chinese team is solid and special, with strong players, so I must prepare even harder. I’ll try to attack a lot and be decisive.”
The match schedule for the finals of WTT Champions on 23 July is as follows:
From 13:00 (CEST)
WS – WANG Manyu (CHN) vs WANG Yidi (CHN)
MS – Tomokazu HARIMOTO (JPN) vs LIN Gaoyuan (CHN)