Table tennis: Feng storms into 1st final in almost four years with win over Samara in DohaMarch 12, 2021
SINGAPORE – After a dominant win against Romania’s Elizabeta Samara in the World Table Tennis (WTT) Star Contender Doha semi-final on Friday (March 12) saw Feng Tianwei make it to her first final in almost four years, the Singapore paddler vowed to keep going.
The 34-year-old’s last final was at the 2017 International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Tour Korea Open, which she won after beating Japan’s Kasumi Ishikawa.
She said after her 4-0 (11-8, 11-4, 11-3, 11-5) victory: “I haven’t made it to the final in quite a few years so I’m definitely happy to have found a breakthrough today.
“But it doesn’t stop here, I need to continue working hard and there are still many things for me to learn.”
The world No. 12 beat Samara, ranked 34th, with relative ease at Lusail Sports Arena to set up a title decider against Japan’s world No. 2 Mima Ito in the US$400,000 (S$538,000) event.
Feng admitted that there were still nerves despite her being untroubled for most of the match, but was glad that she was able to perform against the southpaw.
She said: “I was well prepared for this match and although it seemed like there was little to worry about from the scoreline, mentally there were still some nerves.”
In the final, Feng will face an in-form Ito, who triumphed over South Korea’s Jeon Ji-hee 4-1 (11-5, 17-15, 9-11, 11-5, 15-13) in the other semi-final and is looking to capture back-to-back titles after winning last week’s WTT Contender Doha.
The Japanese has dropped only two games throughout this tournament.
In their head-to-head meetings, the 20-year-old has a 6-2 lead over Feng and the last time Feng beat Ito was in 2016 at the ITTF Asian Cup in Dubai.
Since then, Ito has had the upperhand, with their most recent meeting at the 2020 ITTF World Tour Platinum Qatar Open in Doha ending 4-2.
But Feng remained unfazed, saying: “I’m just going to go all out and try to play to the best of my abilities.”
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