Geelong, Australia, Jul 15 : China's penhold veteran Xu Xin came out the first men's singles champion to have retained the Australian Open title after beating compatriot Wang Chuqin in straight games.
He dropped an immediate point with a long serve after Wang, 19, called a time-out at 8-7 down in the fourth set but made no further errors to win three points in a row and wrapped up the final 11-6, 11-8, 11-4, 11-8 on Sunday.
"I felt like I was still wearing my championship crown from last year and I think this helped," commented the 29-year-old Shanghai native after the final."People felt happy that I came back here and I am very happy that they cheered for me," Xu added. "It is quite extraordinary that I could get such treatment overseas. I was enjoying it."
It has been the third straight ITTF World Tour title this season for Xu, who's regarded the master of penhold grip in current world table tennis, following his victories in Sapporo and Busan.
"I'd never thought about winning three straight championships. I just do what I need to do, to be active and switched on," Xu said.
Earlier on Sunday evening, Chinese teenage paddler Sun Yingsha, having started her Austrlian journey from the qualifications, beat Olympic and world champion Ding Ning 11-1, 11-9, 11-9, 11-9 to be crowned at the women's singles.
The 19-year-old sensation, who lost the 2017 China Open final to the 29-year-old Ding in Chengdu, has now won three Tour titles in her career, with the previous two victories both in Japan.(XINHUA)