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Table Tennis News and Reviews » Blog Archive » Grand Finals - Ma Lin and Ma Long Book Semi-Final Men’s Singles Places in Macau

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  • 14Dec

    China’s Ma Lin and Ma Long emerged successful in their all China quarter-final duels at the Volkswagen Pro Tour Grand Finals in Macau on the afternoon of Saturday 13th December 2008.

    However, the manner of their victories was in quite different mode.

    Ma Lin had to recover from a three games to one deficit to beat Chen Qi, whilst Ma Long powered his way in extravagant style to a straight games success against Wang Liqin. He gave a simply breathtaking performance.

    The reigning Olympic champion, Ma Lin won 11-7, 8-11, 6-11, 2-11, 11-8, 11-8 whilst Ma Long prevailed 11-1, 15-13, 11-4, 11-3.

    Started as Favourite
    Undoubtedly Ma Lin started as the favourite in his encounter against Chen Qi, in world ranking events he had won five of their six previous encounters. 

    The one success for Chen Qi was in September 2004 at the quarter-final stage of the Men’s Singles event at the Volkswagen Open Japan, a tournament Chen Qi eventually won to open his account of Men’s Singles titles on the ITTF Pro Tour.

    Flashes of Brilliance
    In Macau, it seemed he was going to double the tally of wins over his illustrious opponent as, with flashes of brillianc,e he exposed Ma Lin wide to the forehand and established an early lead in the fifth game.

    However, clever serving, fast first attacks and deft returns of service brought success for Ma Lin and increased his career advantage over the man with whom he had won the Men’s Doubles crown at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.

    Marginal Favourite
    Meanwhile, despite the fact that Wang Liqin is the reigning World champion it was Ma Long who started as the marginal favourite in their quarter-final encounter. 

    He had won three of their five previous meetings in world ranking events.

    Devastating
    Wang Liqin won the first point in the first game but then lost the next eleven! 

    The crowd was stunned at seeing the world champion being totally demolished by the sheer speed of his adversary; the long raking forehand of Ma Long was in full flow.

    Turned to Gold
    Ma Long could have walked on water; everything he did turned to gold but in the second game Wang Liqin responded, Ma Long made errors in trying to be super positive and trailed 8-10. 

    Throwing caution to the wind he recovered, both players had chances to win the game, both made errors trying to execute forehands; crucially it was Ma Long who succeeded.

    Watershed
    It was the watershed in the contest; Ma Long went from strength to strength; he raced into a 5-0 lead in the third game and forced Wang Liqin into passive mode.

    The younger player was simply devastating and a place in the penultimate stage against Ma Lin was duly booked.

    Source: www.ittf.com

    Posted by ttfan @ 10:40 pm

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