China's second seed Liang Jingkun seals narrow win as WTT Champions Incheon kicks off

(Xinhua) 10:00, March 28, 2024

INCHEON, South Korea, March 27 (Xinhua) -- World's third-ranked Liang Jingkun secured a spot in the men's singles last 16 with a narrow win against Swedish paddler Anton Kallberg at WTT Champions Incheon, which kicked off here in South Korea on Wednesday.

Liang, the event's second seed, started the game strongly with a 2-0 lead (11-3, 11-9) before the world No. 14 Swedish player caught up with scores of 11-4, 12-10 to send the match to a decider.

In the final clash, the score climbed alternately to a 9-9 tie before Liang snatched two points in a row to take the game.

"I was rather lucky to have taken a 2-0 lead at the start. In the third and fourth games, I was too preoccupied with winning points quickly with just one or two strokes and didn't give much thought to the shots that would come after," Liang said after the win.

"I wanted to win the match too badly and at that time I kept thinking about sealing the win with just a serve or serve receive," Liang added.

Meanwhile, Chinese player and third-seeded Ma Long eased past Sweden's Truls Moregard 3-0 (11-8, 11-9, 11-8) to book a berth in the last 16.

In the women's singles round of 32, world No. 3 Wang Yidi defeated Yang Xiaoxin of Monaco 3-1 (13-11, 11-2, 8-11, 11-9) to also get past to the next round.

WTT Champions Incheon marks the first WTT Champions Series event on the 2024 calendar, and the world's top players gathered here to battle it out for a prize pool of 300,000 U.S. dollars and the event champions each will take home 1,000 ITTF world ranking points.

(Web editor: Tian Yi, Liang Jun)


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