China nabs men’s, women’s tennis team world titles

Kyodo, AP, AFP-JIJI

Japan’s women were overwhelmed by powerhouse China 3-0 in the final Monday, failing to capture their first title in 43 years at the World Team Table Tennis Championships.

Japan claimed its first silver medal since the 1983 Tokyo meet.

World No. 2 Ding Ning beat Yuka Ishigaki 11-5, 8-11, 11-2, 11-5 before London Olympic singles gold medalist Li Xiaoxia defeated Kasumi Ishikawa 11-8, 11-7, 11-7 and world No. 1 Liu Shiwen downed Sayaka Hirano 11-4, 11-2, 11-5 at Yoyogi National Gymnasium.

Japan booked a spot in the final for the first time in 31 years with a victory over Hong Kong the previous day.

The Chinese women, meanwhile, have reached every world team final since 1963 and have raised the trophy 19 times.

Also Monday, defending champion China beat Germany 3-1 to win the men’s title.

Ma Long beat Timo Boll 11-6, 11-9, 11-9 in the opening match, but Dimitrij Ovtcharov pulled Germany level with a 13-11, 11-8, 11-6 win over Zhang Jike.

Xu Xin restored China’s lead by beating Patrick Franziska 11-5, 11-2, 11-9 before Ma sealed the win with a 12-10, 11-5, 11-2 win over Ovtcharov to give China its 19th men’s team title in 24 appearances.