Zhang Jike retains men's singles title at table tennis worlds
Updated: 2013-05-21 09:39
China's Zhang Jike poses with the trophy and the gold medal he won after the men's singles final at the World Team Table Tennis Championships in Paris, May 20, 2013. [Photo/Agencies]
PARIS - Fourth seed Zhang Jike retained his men's singles title at the World Table Tennis Championships by beating third seed Wang Hao in an all-Chinese final here on Monday.
Zhang's win was a repeat of the final at the 2011 Rotterdam World Championships and the 2012 London Olympic Games, where he defeated Wang to become the first men's singles world champion to win Olympic men's singles gold medal.
He beat the 30-year-old Wang 11-7, 11-8, 6-11, 14-12, 5-11, 11-7 to keep an unbeaten record against the veteran penholder in the four years' major international competitions.
Wang, the world champion in 2009 and a three-time Olympic singles silver medalist, trailed Zhang 2-0 but managed to make it 2-1 after the thirds set.
China's Zhang Jike (R) prepares to return a serve during his men's singles final at the World Team Table Tennis Championships in Paris May 20, 2013. Zhang Jike defeated his compatriot Wang Hao. [Photo/Agencies]
He pulled ahead in the fourth but Zhang, who plays shake-hand attacking top spin, held his nerve and won 14-12.
Wang, also a four-time World Cup winner, took the fifth set 11-5 and pulled it to two sets against three. But Zhang laughed to the last and grabbed the next 11-7 and a second world title.
Zhang threw his shirt to the crowd and ran up to the stand to celebrate the victory with his parents.
"Since I have already won a Grand Slam of Olympic Games, World Championships and World Cup, I did not feel nervous during the match. I just want to enjoy the match," Zhang said.
"I beat Wang Hao maybe because I am younger than him. But I don't think there is loser. Both of us were relaxed during the match."
He added, "My parents had always wanted to watch me play during major world compeititions, but I refused. This time I asked them to come here."
Wang said that he was not disappointed despite the loss. "This is my last world championships," he said. "I just want to enjoy the match."
China's Zhang Jike serves during his men's singles final at the World Team Table Tennis Championships in Paris, May 20, 2013. [Photo/Agencies]