Feng fails to overcome Sun yet again

Sun Yingsha returning the ball to Feng Tianwei (not pictured) during the quarter-finals of the China Open yesterday. Sun won in straight sets.
Sun Yingsha returning the ball to Feng Tianwei (not pictured) during the quarter-finals of the China Open yesterday. Sun won in straight sets.PHOTO: XINHUA

Different tournament, same opponent, same result.

Singapore's top-ranked paddler Feng Tianwei again had no answer to China's rising talent Sun Yingsha, as she lost in straight sets 7-11, 6-11, 9-11, 7-11 in the quarter-finals of the China Open yesterday.

The world No. 4 had also lost 1-4 to eventual champion Sun in the round of 16 at the Japan Open last week, the first time the pair had played each other.

Feng cited fatigue as the chief reason for her comprehensive defeat by the 16-year-old Sun.

"My preparation wasn't ideal as I've been playing a lot of tournaments lately and haven't had much time to rest or train," said the 30-year-old, who has also been battling a cold. "This puts me at a disadvantage when playing against younger players (like Sun)."

The same pattern played out in each of the four games yesterday: Feng fell behind early before closing the gap, only to run out of steam at the end.

Still, the fourth seed gave credit to her opponent, adding that Sun was "faster and more skilful, and I wasn't able to cope with her level of play during the match".

Sun applied pressure consistently on Feng throughout the match, and said she was able to implement what she had been doing in training so far.

"Today, I could more or less anticipate where the ball was going," she said. "Feng was well-prepared as well but my performance and how I adapted on court was not bad."

Sun continued to be in fine fettle in the all-Chinese semi-finals, clinching an impressive straight-sets win over world No. 2 Liu Shiwen 13-11, 11-8, 11-6, 12-10.

Her next opponent will be world No. 1 and defending champion Ding Ning, who overcame an early wobble to dispatch compatriot Chen Meng 9-11, 11-2, 6-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-9.

CHINA OPEN

Finals: Singtel TV Ch110, 2pm

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 25, 2017, with the headline 'Feng fails to overcome Sun yet again'. Print Edition | Subscribe