China's Liu wins World Tour TT title

Liu ShiwenDubai, Jan 12 - Chinese World No. 1 Liu Shiwen won the women's singles title of the World Tour Grand Final of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) by beating compatriot and World No. 2 Ding Ning here.

The final, held in the Hamad Bin Rashid Hall of the Al Nasr Sports Club, began spectacularly in a fierce and tight fight but eventually turned in favour of Liu, who cashed in $104,000 with a 4-2 victory Saturday, reports Xinhua.

Liu said that while Ding was a strong competitor, she was lucky as she won a number of key points in the last two sets.

In the middle of the match, Ding, who won $52,000, exhausted and made mistakes as the match advanced.

In men's competition, China's World No. 1 Ma Long and Kim Menseok from South Korea entered the first semi-final which will take place Sunday. In the quarter-final, Ma was victorious over countryman Zhang Jike in a neck-and-neck battle which ended 4-3.

"After I lost the first two sets as I was a bit nervous, I changed my tactics and played longer balls which surprised Zhang a bit," Ma said.

World No. 27 Kim beat Japan's World No. 46 Masato Shiono 4-3.

World No. 2 Xu Xin and 16-year-old Fan Zhendong, both from China, will play Sunday in the other semi-final.

In the quarter-finals, attacking player Xu kicked out French Abdel-Kader Salifou. Despite his clear 0-4 defeat, the 103-ranked Salifo said he was extremely happy to have reached the quarters in an event which involves the best players from the World Tour.

World No. 5 Fan scored a 4-1 victory over his compatriot Wang Hao.

The men's semi-finals and final will take place Sunday.(IANS)