China’s Xu Xin and Ding Ning won the respective men’s and women’s singles titles today at the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Bulgaria Open event in Panagyurishte.
Second seed Xu beat Japan’s Kenta Matsudaira, the number seven seed, 12-10, 10-12, 11-8, 11-6, 11-4.
Ding Ning, the Rio 2016 gold medallist and three-times world champion, had a tougher match against 21-year-old compatriot Wang Yidi, playing her first ITTF World Tour final having started her tournament five days earlier in the qualification tournament in this Seamaster World Tour event.
The 28-year-old senior player, seeded sixth, had to call upon all her experience to win 11-7, 10-12, 8-11, 11-8, 11-6, 4-11, 11-2.
It was Ding Ning’s first World Tour win in 15 months.
"I would say that is was a really difficult match for me but I was determined and continued to play my own game," said Ding Ning.
"I am satisfied with my performance overall."
For Xu, whose task had been made easier by the early exits of compatriot Ma Long, the Rio 2016 champion, and top seed and Germany's defending champion Dmitrij Ovtcharov, this was the second successive ITTF World Tour win following his success in Australia three weeks earlier.
For Matsudaira it was the third time in four years he has been runner-up in Bulgaria.