Chinese star Xu Xin silenced the home crowd at the Japan Open by beating Japanese qualifier Maharu Yoshimura to claim his 11th International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Tour title in Kobe.
Xu suffered an early setback as Yoshimura took the opening game 11-9 before the 25-year-old recovered, eventually sealing an 9-11, 11-2, 14-12, 11-7, 11-7 triumph.
The win for the world number two ensured he maintained his excellent form from the recent World Championships, where he was victorious in both the men’s doubles, with partner Zhang Jike, and the mixed doubles with South Korea’s Yang Ha-eun.
“This is my first Japan Open, so it is very special for me to win here,” he said.
“Yoshimura played amazingly well.
“He is still young and is going to be a big rival to me and the Chinese team in the future.
"He surprised me in the first set, and the large crowd supporting him put me off my game a little.
“I made some adjustments in the second game and I was very relieved when I won it, to make it 1-1, as then I believed I could win.”
Xu then rounded off the event by clinching his second Japan Open crown, partnering Ma Long to the men’s doubles title with a 11-8, 13-11, 7-11, 10-12, 11-8 victory against compatriots Fan Zhendong and Shang Kun.
It had been a difficult tournament for the world’s top player as Ma suffered an early singles exit, losing in the second round, but he made sure he finished in style with a five-game win alongside teammate Xu.
Elsewhere, Chen Meng made up for the disappointment of not being selected for singles competition at the World Championships, claiming a shock success over team-mate Zhu Yuling.
The Chinese player looked in good touch throughout the event, disposing of current world number one and reigning world champion Ding Ning in the semi-finals, but she had a stern test in the final, prevailing in seven games 13-11, 6-11, 5-11, 11-4, 11-5, 6-11, 11-7 to secure a fifth ITTF World Tour gold.
“To win the tournament is very important, but more than that, is to improve as a player in each match, which will hopefully lead me to becoming the world champion one day," she said.
"I am happy to win this championship.
“My last two matches were very tough, this victory will give me a lot of confidence in the future.”
China then sealed a clean sweep of victories as Liu Fei and Wu Yang proved too strong for the Singaporean duo of Zhou Yihan and Lin Ye as they marked their first tournament together with a 11-6, 7-11, 11-9, 11-5 win in the women's doubles event.
May 2015: China’s Ma secures maiden men's singles title at World Table Tennis Championships
May 2015: Ding overcomes injury to secure thrilling women's singles title at ITTF World Championships
May 2015: China and South Korea combine to claim historic mixed doubles victory at ITTF World Championships
April 2015: Olympic medallists Ovtcharov and Fukuhara suffer surprise exits at World Table Tennis Championships
April 2015: Paraguayan London 2012 player seals passage into main draw of ITTF World Championships