Feng falters in singles title defence
Singapore's world No. 4 loses to India's Batra in thrilling seven-set semi-final
Singapore paddler Feng Tianwei failed to make it a hat-trick of women's singles titles at the Commonwealth Games on Saturday (April 14).
The 31-year-old lost 3-4 (10-12, 11-5, 8-11, 11-5, 11-5, 9-11, 11-13) in a nail-biting semi-final to her nemesis, India's world No. 58 Manika Batra, who had also beaten her in the team event.
Feng, the world No. 4, later beat Canada's Zhang Mo 4-2 (11-2, 11-7, 5-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-3) to claim the bronze.
A visibly upset Feng, the two-time defending champion (2010, 2014), told The Straits Times after losing to 22-year-old Batra: “I felt I had prepared well and played well in the match today. However, when I was leading 8-4 in the rubber, I was quite nervous and played more conservatively.
“When I was leading, the opponent also made some adjustments to her game and I was slow to adapt."
Feng's teammate Yu Mengyu had a chance to ensure that the gold stayed in the Republic's hands, but found no answer to Batra's bat play, as she lost 0-4 (7-11, 6-11, 2-11, 7-11) in the final to finish with a silver.
The paddlers, who have won only one gold medal so far, are in contention for two more on Sunday - the last day of the competition.
Men's veteran Gao Ning will pair up with Yu in the mixed doubles final against England's Liam Pitchford and Ho Tin-Tin on Sunday (8.15am, Singapore time), before Gao faces Nigeria's Quadri Aruna in the men's singles final (10.20am).
On Saturday evening, Singapore's young pair of 15-year-old Koen Pang and Ethan Poh, 19, lost 0-3 (5-11, 6-11, 10-12) to India's Harmeet Desai and Sanil Shankar Shetty in the men's doubles bronze play-off.
England duo Paul Drinkhall and Liam Pitchford claimed the men's doubles gold after defeating another Indian pair Sharath Achanta and Sathiyan Ghanasekaran 3-2 in the final.
FOR MORE, READ THE SUNDAY TIMES ON APRIL 15