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  • Ahmed Saleh

Chinese duo Wang Chuqin, Chen Meng take men’s, women’s singles titles at Saudi Smash

Wang claims triple crown with success on 24th birthday

JEDDAH: World No. 1 Wang Chuqin and No. 4 seed Chen Meng from China were crowned the winners of the men’s and women’s singles respectively at the 2024 World Tour Saudi Smash table tennis event in Jeddah on Saturday.

Chen took home the women’s crown with a 4-2 win over big-time rival Sun Yingsha in an epic final (6-11, 11-5, 11-8, 11-9, 6-11, 11-8).

Speaking on the stage after the match, Chen told her fans: “I’m very excited, very happy and still find it unbelievable as it exceeded my expectations. Throughout my Saudi Smash journey, each match was a big hurdle.

“I gave my best to make it here and ultimately won the finals. Facing the match against ‘Shasha,’ I hoped that luck would be on my side to clinch the title.

“Despite a few times reaching the finals, I haven’t claimed a title since Singapore Smash 2022. It’s far from easy to turn an opportunity into a victory. I’m really happy.”

Thanks to her victory, Chen also leaves Jeddah with 2,000 International Table Tennis Federation World Ranking points, enough to secure her return to World No. 2.

Meanwhile, in the men’s competition, World Champion Wang proved that he is still the dominant leader, pulling off an impressive victory over the World No. 10 Patrick Franziska from Germany, winning 4-2 (11-2, 11-7, 11-5, 8-11, 10-12 and 11-6) in a thrilling final.

Having already taken the mixed doubles title with Sun Yingsha and the men’s doubles with Ma Long, the men’s singles trophy added the final feather in Wang’s cap in Jeddah as he achieved the Saudi Smash triple crown.

With the win also falling on his 24th birthday, the title provided a perfect celebration.

He said: “I could have taken all three titles in the last Grand Smash; unfortunately, I didn’t. Thanks to the birthday blessings, I’m able to win three titles this time, which I’m happy about.

“It seems like some of these trophies were easier than others to get, but in reality the entire Saudi Smash journey has been long and tough for me, which is also the biggest gain.”

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