This weekend saw the opening to the „World Cup week“, with its first stop in Linz, Austria. The Women’s World Cup ended with a „one woman show“ of favorite DING Ning from China. The 24 year-old beat teammate, World Champion and Olympic Champion LI Xiaoxia in a dominating manner with 4:0, securing the title as World Cup Champion once more after 2011.
The „small final“ was won by Kasumi ISHIKAWA of Japan in a gripping match against Hungary’s Georgina POTA with 4:3, awarding her the 3rd place medal.
The course of the tournament was everything but easy for the two favorites from China. In some matches they had to stretch to their limits, most notably during the quarter finals stage, where Butterfly player and local hero LIU Jia, called „Susi“ tested the limits of LI Xiaoxia, pulling the match into a deciding 7th game. Liu Jia, active player for the local club Linz AG Froschberg who had to overcome her teammate and Butterfly player Iveta VACENOVSKA in the round of 16, supported by the crowd, surprised the world Champion time and time again with her clever serve, fast legs and relentless topspin attacks. She mis-started into the 7th game though and was unable to recover from a quick 0:4.
A similar performance showed Turkey’s HU Melek. The Butterfly player played a fantastic match against DING Ning, winning the first game in a convincing manner and lost the three games after that by only 2 points difference each. DING Ning was surprised more than once by HU’s clever blocking shots and ferocious topspins from the forehand side. In the end she had to acknowledge the class of her opponent, DING Ning prevailed with 4:1.
The World Cup continues. On the very next weekend, the 20 best men in the World will meet in Düsseldorf, Germany to determine the Champion of the Men’s World Cup 2014. Your Butterfly Stars will be on site, as are we.