SINGAPORE - National paddler Feng Tianwei ended her campaign at the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Tour Grand Finals on Friday, losing in her opening match against Japanese teen Miu Hirano.
The world No. 6 Singaporean had a bright start, but eventually lost 11-6, 11-4, 9-11, 6-11, 11-7, 5-11, 4-11.
Feng was seeded fourth, while world No. 11 Hirano is the ninth seed.
This was the duo's third meeting this year. They met at the Asian Cup in April, a match-up that Feng won, and again at the Women's World Cup when 16-year-old Hirano beat Feng in the semi-finals. Hirano went on to become the youngest and first Japanese winner of the prestigious event.
Feng told The Straits Times shortly after her loss that her 21/2-month break from the sport following the Rio Olympics in August showed when the match went into a rubber game.
She said: "I haven't been able to train properly, and it definitely showed as the match stretched on."
The 30-year-old was given the boot by the Singapore Table Tennis Association at the end of October, when the association said the three-time Olympic medallist no longer fit into its plans for rejuvenation.
Despite the setback, Feng still got back into competition recently, competing in the China Table Tennis Super League where she beat world No. 1 and reigning Olympic champion Ding Ning just days ago.