A comeback to win in five sets gave China’s Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen gold in mixed doubles at the 2019 World Tour Grand Finals. Overall the top eight performing mixed doubles teams based on the world tour rankings were given an opportunity to grab one of the four mixed doubles Olympic quotas. The World Tour Grand Finals is currently being held in Zhengzhou, China from December 12th to December 15th 2019.
The quarterfinals and the Olympic qualifiers saw the four winners grab straight set victories over their opponents. Top seed Wong Chung Ting and Doo Hoi Kem of Hong Kong started their first set 0-6 against Slovakia’s Lubomir Pistej and Barbora Balazova before coming back to win it 12-10. They won the next two sets 11-9 and 11-7. On the other hand, China’s Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen had an easier time against South Korea’s Cho Dae-seong and Shin Yubin where they won 11-3, 11-5, 13-11.
Also advancing to the semi-finals and qualifying to the Olympics were Japan’s Mima Ito and Jun Mizutani and Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yun-ju and Cheng I-ching whom defeated France’s Tristan Flore and Laura Gasnier (11-7, 11-6, 11-6) and Hungary’s Adam Szudi and Szandra Pergel (11-7, 11-3, 11-4) respectively. By qualifying a mixed doubles team, Japan’s host quota will now be reallocated to the highest ranked unqualified team on the Olympic ranking list.
The semi-finals also saw straight set wins as Ito and Mizutani defeated the number one seed Wong and Doo 11-9, 11-2, 15-13 while Xu and Liu defeated Lin and Cheng 11-3, 13-11, 11-1 to advance to the finals.
Ito and Mizutani had a great start where they won the first two sets 11-9 and 11-6. However, the Chinese pair were able to reverse their fortunes and where able to comeback and win the title after scoring 11-3, 11-8 and 11-9 set wins.
Athletes which compete in the mixed doubles event and whose nation has qualified to the team event must also compete in the team event. Additionally, the continental qualifier holds higher priority over the World Tour Grand Finals meaning should any of the above nations qualify to the Asian qualification event the quota won here will be reallocated to the highest ranked unqualified team on the Olympic ranking list. The next opportunity for nations to qualify in mixed doubles will be through the World Tour German Open to be held next year.