Table tennis: Feng Tianwei wins 1st ITTF title after being axed from national set-up

Feng Tianwei of Singapore in her semi final match against Chen Szu-yu in Incheon, Korea.
Feng Tianwei of Singapore in her semi final match against Chen Szu-yu in Incheon, Korea.PHOTO: ITTF

SINGAPORE - Feng Tianwei won her first International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) title since she was axed from the national set-up in October, beating Japan's Kasumi Ishikawa 12-10, 6-11, 11-9, 5-11, 11-8, 11-9 at the Korea Open in Incheon on Sunday (April 23).

The Singaporean world No. 3 had faced two game points against her at 8-10 in the first game, but fought back to win four points in a row to take the game 12-10.

World No. 4 Ishikawa pulled away at 6-6 in the second game to tie the score at one game apiece.

Feng, 30, then put the pressure on her 24-year-old opponent to win a see-saw third game where the margin between points never exceeded two.

Left-handed Ishikawa won four points in a row to start the fourth game, and maintained her lead to equalise a second time.

Although Feng started the fifth and sixth games trailing her opponent, she held steady - even recovering from a 2-6 deficit in the fifth game - to prevail.

The win gave Feng her 10th career ITTF singles title, and also extended her head-to-head record over Ishikawa to 10-5.

The latter had won their last two meetings, with the most recent being at the bronze medal match of the women's team event of the Rio Olympics last year. Then, Ishikawa won 3-0 and Japan took bronze with a 3-1 victory.