All-Chinese finals set in singles at WTT Singapore Smash

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SINGAPORE, March 18 (Xinhua) -- Brazilian paddler Hugo Calderano, the last non-Chinese survivor in the singles draws, fell 4-1 to Olympic champion Ma Long here on Saturday, granting an All-Chinese final in the men's singles at the World Table Tennis (WTT) Singapore Smash.

A day earlier, the women's singles title was all but bagged by China as Sun Yingsha, Wang Manyu, Qian Tianyi and Zhang Rui took up all four spots in Saturday's semifinals.

With a strong opening game display, 34-year-old Ma built a solid lead in the first three games and denied a late comeback from his 26-year-old opponent, wrapping up the semifinal 11-6, 11-6, 11-4, 8-11, 11-8.

"I'm satisfied with my performance today," Ma told a post-match mixed zone. "I got most of the technical and tactical plans carried out, hit a lot of shots, and earned an upper hand early in the game."

"Hopefully, I can keep playing high-quality table tennis tomorrow in the final," he added.

A similar procedure was seen in the other men's singles semifinal, where world No. 1 and defending champion Fan Zhendong claimed a resounding win over fellow Chinese Wang Chuqin 11-6, 13-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-5 to secure his return to the title match.

Unlike the men's singles final pitting the current and former world No. 1s, the women's singles final on Sunday, however, will come up to an uneven showdown between top-ranked Sun Yingsha and wildcard Qian Tianyi.

Deemed the biggest surprise in the women's singles this week, Qian, who took out the likes of Mima Ito and Sofia Polcanova on her way to the semifinal, beat Zhang Rui 11-7, 10-12, 11-8, 11-8, 11-5 to set up the final against Sun, who dismantled Wang Manyu 11-4, 11-8, 11-7, 11-8.

Also on Saturday, Wang Chuqin and Fan Zhendong defended their men's doubles title after seeing off 2021 World Championships silver medalists Jang Woo-jin and Lim Jong-hoon of South Korea 9-11, 13-11, 11-7, 11-4 in the final.

The women's doubles championship went to top-ranked pair Wang Manyu and Sun Yingsha, who defeated teammates Chen Meng and Wang Yidi in full sets, 5-11, 3-11, 11-9, 11-4, 13-11. Wang Chuqin and Sun Yingsha took down the mixed doubles title on Thursday. Enditem

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