Chinese Fan Zhendong gave Dimtrij Ovtcharov a memorable lesson about how to play both fast and powerful table tennis in the ITTF World Tour Grand Finals in Astana, sweeping over the German star 4-0 on Sunday.
Troubled with a back injury though, a confident Fan overpowered and outpaced the rival throughout the match, winning the men’s singles title with a score of 11-7, 11-9, 11-7, 12-10.
Fan, widely tipped as a title hopeful for the 2020 Olympics, had eliminated the ITTF Player of the Year Timo Boll of Germany in the semifinals.
It seems Fan has rebounded from his all-time lows which saw him lose to Ovtcharov in the German Open, to compatriot Ma Long twice – in the world championship final and the Chinese National Games final, and to teammate Xu Xin in the Swedish Open final in 2017.
Despite the loss, Ovtcharov will rise to No. 1 on the world rankings to be issued on Jan. 1, 2018.
In an all-Chinese women’s final, Chen Meng beat World Cup winner Zhu Yuling in four straight sets.