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Hosts collect three out of four titles at China Open
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Japanese duo Seiya Kishikawa and Jun Mizutani stopped the hosts Chinese from a clean sweep at the 330,000 U.S. dollars table tennis China Open on Sunday.

The top-seeded pair Kishikawa and Mizutani beat newly partnered Xu Xin and Zhang Jike of China for the men's doubles title, as all other events titles went to the hosts.

World No. 2 Ma Long was crowned in the men's singles after trashing three-time world champion Wang Liqin 4-0, while teenage sensation Liu Shiwen upset former world champion Guo Yue 4-2 to lift the women's singles trophy after losing the women's doubles title to Guo and Li Xiaoxia earlier in the afternoon.

The Suzhou tournament thus has all four gold medals on offer won by players no older than 20 years old as the ITTF Pro Tour event, with record prize money among 18 stops of the season, attracted 177 players from 21 countries and regions to participated in.

Ma Long, 20, brought down 31-year-old Wang 11-6, 13-11, 11-5, 11-9, the 18-year-old Liu won over Guo 11-9, 11-9, 14-12, 12-14, 11-8, 11-7, and Guo/Li, both 20, beat Li Xiaodan and Liu Shiwen 7-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-4, 12-10.

Also Kishikawa and Mizutani, undisputed leaders to Japanese men's table tennis, are both just 20 years old.

The Japanese duo came back from 1-2 down to win over Xu and Zhang 12-10, 4-11, 8-11, 11-5, 11-9, 11-9.

"It's a welcome victory though not an easy one for us," said Kishikawa after winning his first men's doubles title with Mizutani in an ITTF Pro Tour ITTF Pro Tour tournament. "I could feel my nerve from the very beginning of the final, since it's a pair from China at the other end of the table. But I managed to tune myself up and played a in-style game."

Last May in Yokohama, Japan, Kishikawa and Mizutani won a world championship bronze medal in the men's doubles for the host country, losing only to China's Xu Xin and Ma Long in the semifinals.

Mizutani reckoned the shift of partner for Xu Xin having made the difference.

"We've played a much tougher match in Yokohama against Xu Xin and Ma Long," he said. "For today's game against Xu Xin and Zhang Jike, we found it easy to tell how the duo would react as Zhang seemed to have little special in techniques."

Xu himself, however, could not agree with his Japanese rivals. The teenage sensation of China said: "The only problem with the pairing of Zhang Jike and me is that we are just coming to play the men's doubles together, and have not yet fully adapted it."

"Zhang and Ma play different styles of table tennis. Zhang's more aggressive and Ma's stable. Both of them are very good players," he added.

Earlier in the men's doubles, Kishikawa and Mizutani ousted China's golden pairing of Olympic title holder Ma Lin and Wang Liqin in straight sets in the first round to set the tune of their games.

(Xinhua News Agency June 8, 2009)

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