2013 Qatar Open was a great tournament for Ding Ning. The world champion and current world ranking #1 clinched her first World Tour's title of the year at the 2013 Qatar Open beating none other than the olympic champion Li Xiaoxia and the World Cup's champion Liu Shiwen.
It is known that Li Xiaoxia has emerged successfully over Ding Ning in most of their encounters after the Olympic Games, so Li was the favorite to win the semifinals. However, Ding had the last word and stood victorious by 9:11, 11:7, 9:11, 11:4, 11:9 and 11:4. In the final Ding Ning would face another big opponent, Li Shiwen. Li progressed to the final after defeating world junior champion Zhu Yuling, who beat Feng Tianwei by 4:2 in the previous round, by 4:2 (3:11, 11:6, 11:6, 11:5, 7:11 and 11:9).
Ding Ning vs Li Xiaoxia Video kindly shared by GecaPhoenix
Ding Ning doesn't have a positive score against Liu Shiwen. Last year they met to each other in three finals, where Liu stood victorious in two of them. If we look back in 2011, results also favour Liu Shiwen. However, Ding Ning wanted to put an end to Liu's winning streak and overcame her by 11:5, 11:13, 11:8, 11:5 and 11:7 in the final.
Ding Ning vs Liu Shiwen Video kindly shared by ttCountenance
Some minutes before the women's single final, Ding Ning with Li Xiaoxia had won their third doubles' title of the year after beating the German pairing of Shan Xiaona and Zhenqi Barthel by 3:1 (11:8, 9:11, 11:7 and 11:9). In semifinals, Ding and Li stood victorious over Japanese duo made up by raising stars Miu Hirano and Mima Ito by 3:0, while Barthel and Shan defeated Liu Shiwen and Zhu Yuling by the same score.
Mima Ito and Miu Hirano (both 12 years old) caused sensation in the doubles event as they beat South Korea's Jeon Jihee and Yang Haeun by 3:0. Then they overcame the Chinese pair of Li Xiaodan and Zhao Yan by 3:1 but were stopped by the duo of the world and olympic champions.
Li Xiaoxia/Ding Ning vs Zhenqi Barthel/Shan Xiaona Video kindly shared by ttlondon2012
Photo and info. source: zimbio.com - ittf.com