HALMSTAD, Sweden, May 4 (Xinhua) -- Defending champion China on Friday survived the toughest battle they met since the start of the 2018 World Team Table Tennis Championships here.
Although China eventually adavanced to the women's final, beating the Hong Kong team 3-1 in the semifinal,
Olympic champin Ding Ning lost to Hong Kong's Soo Wai Yam Minnie 11-6, 11-7 and 11-6 in the opening game, which stunned all.
The 20-year-old Soo said, "I wasn't anticipating that I could beat Ding, the very best player. I admire her, watch her playing a lot, and try to forget that she is Ding during the game to make me feel relax."
Ding said, "It was my first time playing Soo, and I didn't get well prepared."
The following game was not easy for China either. World No. 2 Zhu Yuling had to fight through full five sets to tame Doo Hoi Kem.
Veteran Liu Shiwen beat Lee Ho Ching 3-1 in the third game to help China lead by 2-1.
Despite losing the opening game, Ding stormed back to defeat Doo 11-8, 9-11, 11-7, 11-8.
"We never expect to win the championships easily," said China coach Li Sun. "Now we have to get ready for the final against Japan."