China's Ding beats Li to grab table tennis worlds' title

10:32, May 15, 2011      

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Ding Ning of China reacts during the awarding ceremony of the final of women's singles against her compatriot Li Xiaoxia in the 2011 World Table Tennis Championships (WTTC) at Ahoy Arena in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, May 14, 2011. Ding Ning won 4-2 to claim the champion of the event. (Xinhua/Wu Wei)

China's Ding Ning captured her first women's singles title by beating compatriot Li Xiaoxia in a spectacular final of the World Table Tennis Championships on Saturday in Rotterdam.

Ding beat her top seeded Li in six games: 12-10, 13-11, 11-9, 8-11, 8-11, 11-7. Li Xiaoxia came back strongly from a 3-0 deficit, but it was not enough.

"I have been waiting for this for a very long time," Ding said afterwards. "Ever since I was a child I was dreaming about a world title and an Olympic title. This is my lifetime dream."

In the second game, Li led 10-6, but could not make it. Ding saved four game points and went on to win the game 13-11. In the third game Li saved four game points, but fell in the fifth one, losing 11-9.

In the fifth game, 20-year-old Ding went 4-0 ahead, but Li came back with seven points in a row and won the game 11-8.

"Basically in the fifth game when I was leading 5-3 suddenly I felt my opponent made a lot of changes adjustment wise. That's why I lost that game. But I learned a good lesson from the previous game and kept hoping."

In the final game Li led 5-0, but this time Ding bounced back to win 11-7.

On Sunday, Ding will play the women's doubles final. "I will not party, but concentrate on that final first," she noted.

Source: Xinhua
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