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Other Sports - 20. June 2011.

Top Qualifications for Wen Jia, She Graduates with Honours

Never beyond the quarter-finals of a Women’s Singles event on the ITTF Pro Tour; currently standing at no.55 on the Women’s World Ranking list, with a career high of no.48, the host nation’s Wen Jia won the Women’s Singles title at the Volkswagen China Open in Shenzhen on Sunday 19th June 2011.

Not seeded, she completed five days of play with a most impressive and mature victory over Singapore’s Feng Tianwei, the no.3 seed.

At the final hurdle, the 22 year old recorded a six games victory; she won 9-11, 11-8, 11-5, 9-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-7 to write a new chapter in her biography.

Just as her colleagues Cao Zhen in 2003 in Malaysia and Feng Yalan in Germany in 2010, she joined the special club of players who had been required to qualify for the main draw and had eventually emerged as the Women’s Singles champion at an ITTF Pro Tour tournament.

Close First Game
A close first game went the way of Feng Tianwei after Wen Jia had made the better start, the powerful forehand of Feng Tianwei being the telling factor in a game that rose in playing level as progression was made.

Stunning rallies enthralled the 7,000 strong crowd in the Shenzhen Stadium.

Positive Response
Aware of the lethal nature of the Feng Tianwei forehand, Wen Jia directed her initial attacking strokes towards the backhand of her adversary in the second game; Wen Jia has undoubtedly a high level of skill when required to block the ball but against the might of the Feng Tianwei fortehand such a tactic was a dangerous option.

In the second game Wen Jia was positive from the very first point, she attacked quickly and used her backhand to good effect to create angles. Furthermore, she was the more consistent player as Feng Tianwei made the odd error trying to force the pace.

Imposed Authority
The success had somewhat settled any nerves Wen Jia may have harboured; in the third game her movement, poise and balance was a joy to behold as she imposed her authority on matters.

Equally she executed her attacking strokes with pinpoint accuracy; Feng Tianwei was rarely allowed to unleash her powerful forehand.

Fighting Effort
In the rallies, Wen Jia was always the favourite; the control from the backhand exquisite as she forged a 7-4 lead in the fourth game.

Feng Tianwei, to her credit fought, she won the next five points as Wen Jia became somewhat anxious; she signalled to herself with her right hand to stay calm. Feng Tianwei, seemingly earlier in the game facing a three-one deficit secured an 11-9 success.

It was parity.

Re-Asserted Authority
The loss of the fourth game was blow for Wen Jia, a game which she appeared to be en route to winning.

In the early stages of the fifth game she was a shade tentative, made the odd error but soon established her authority to win the game with a degree of ease and thus moved into a three games to two lead.

Sixth Game
Now more composed Wen Jia went ahead 4-3 in the sixth game, Feng Tianwei called “Time Out” but Wen Jia was relentless.

She extended her lead and on her second match point secured victory; it was a golden day for Wen Jia.

No Pressure
"I didn't feel under any pressure today", said Wen Jia. "Feng Tianwei is higher ranked than me, I could play freely and I was well prepared for the match."

Unquestionably Kong Linghui had prepared is charge and Wen Jia had responded; a new name on the ITTF Pro Tour roll of honour was inscribed.
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