Ding Ning(R) of China celebrates during the women's singles semi-final match against Miu Hirano of Japan at the 2017 World Table Tennis Championships in Dusseldorf, Germany, June 3, 2017. (Xinhua/Tao Xiyi)
DUSSELDORF, Germany, June 3 (Xinhua) -- World No. 1 Ding Ning beat Japan's 17-year-old sensation Miu Hirano 4-1 in the women's singles semifinals at the World Table Tennis Championships here on Saturday.
Ding's victory was a sweet revenge for her shock defeat to Hirano in the Asian Championships quarterfinals last April and has also secured the title for China. She will fight for the title against world No. 3 Zhu Yuling, who edged world No. 2 Liu Shiwen 4-3 in the other semifinal.
Hirano has been regarded as the Chinese women's most dangerous threat after beating three Chinese players, including Ding, en route to the Asian crown. Ding opened the competition well, winning the first three games 11-4, 11-8 and 11-5 for a 3-0 lead.
The Japanese World Cup champion fought back with her powerful forehand attack and pulled one game back.
"Last time in the Asia Championships, I was also ahead but then I lost," said Ding.
This time she didnot make the same mistake. She gave her opponent no chance in the next game and wrapped up the match at 11-5.
"I made full preparation for this match," a jubilant Ding told the audience. "Before the competition, my coach, teammates, and everyone helped me prepare. In terms of techniques and tactics, I really have not changed much. It really just depends on how I perform. I think I was extremely devoted to the competition today. As everyone saw, I even forgot what the points were near the end, so I was definitely very devoted on the court."
Ding referred to the scenario that when she led 10-5, she thought the game was over.
She added, "I was under a lot of pressure because I had been drawn in the top half without any other Chinese player. I am happy that I have finished the job.
"I don't care which teammate I will play in the final because everyone of us wants to show you a fantastic match."