Turning the tables. Cheng takes home Goa title

28 January 2024

Cheng I-Ching has dished up a serving of redemption, taking down the Women's Singles title at WTT Star Contender Goa 2024. Cheng lifted her first ever WTT Star Contender trophy with a dominant 4-0 (11-8, 11-8, 17-15, 11-6) win over Nina Mittelahm.

The World No.18 came in to Goa as the 4th seed and on a mission to one-up her 2023 performance. A year ago the Chinese Taipei star came within a match of a perfect event, leaving India with runner-up trophy after going down in the final Wang Yidi. In 2024, the highest peak on the podium belonged to Cheng.

On top of her previous superb Goa form, Cheng went in to the final on the front foot against Mittelham, sporting a 2:0 head-to-head record against the German. However, when it came to WTT titles, it was the the younger player who held the advantage.


Mittelham's trophy cabinet holds the Women's Singles prize from WTT Contender Lima 2022. Meanwhile for Cheng, she arrived in India without any WTT silverware to her name.

When the match got underway, the veteran from Chinese Taipei kept looked set on adding a trophy to her suitcase, taking down the first two games in quick fashion.

The match was not your typical Women's Singles final, with forehands dominating the scene and backhand to backhand rallies a rarity. It was power and forehand placement at the forefront, with both athletes taking a step back for the table to make the most of their powerful shot-making. When the exchanges fell, it was Chen that kept coming up trumps.

The third game would prove critical as, with Mittelham giving herself the best chance of taking a game yet.

Trailing 2-0, the World No.24 stood face-to-face with a total of three game points. However each and every time Cheng had a response.

Despite dancing away from the table to parry the ball in play, eventually the powerful forehand's of the 4th seed pierced the defences of Mittelham. The decisive third game was won by Cheng and from there it was one way traffic.

Serving up a storm to a 65% win rate when the rally started on her own racket, Cheng cruised to an 11-6 victory to finally lift the trophy that evaded her a year ago.

Despite the disappointed of a the loss in the final, Mittelham will be happy with the huge turnaround in form. Goa marks a promising start for the 2024 season, as the German's two previous WTT Star Contender events had come with round of 64 exits.

For Cheng with the title secured, WTT Series 2024 has kicked off on a high note, and the a return to the Top 10 in the world could well be on the cards for the 31-year-old in the coming weeks.

Check out the complete results from Goa here.