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Table Tennis News and Reviews » Blog Archive » Timo Boll Reaches Final with Sensational Win over Ma Long

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  • 29Sep

    Germany’s Timo Boll brought the Country Hall, Liege to its feet with
    a sensational win over second seed Ma Long in the second semi-final at
    the Liebherr Men’s World Cup on the morning of Sunday 28th September
    2008.

    The German won 11-7, 8-11, 11-9, 11-3, 8-11, 8-11, 11-6

    Timo
    Boll and Ma Long had met on six previous occasions in world ranking
    events with the German having only succeeded on only one occasion.
    The occasion was in November 2005 at the quarter-final stage of the Men’s Singles event at the Liebherr Swedish Open.

    All other five duels had gone the way of the powerful Ma Long; in Liège, Timo Boll reversed the trend.

    Better Start
    In
    Liège, it was Timo Boll who made the better start in the opening game;
    left handed, he executed controlled forehand topspin strokes directed
    into the body of the right handed Ma Long to gain success.

    He
    moved into a 6-3 lead; Ma Long, as in the past, directed his attacks
    into the backhand of Timo Boll but the German was equal to the task; he
    maintained his lead to clinch the opening game.

    Policy
    Undoubtedly,
    the avowed policy over in recent times by Chinese players has been to
    attack the backhand of Timo Boll early in the rally; however, that
    tactic was only gaining minimal success.

    The German attacked
    with the backhand playing with heavy topspin to gain success and was
    able on more than one occasion to withstand the Ma Long attacks with
    astute blocking play.

    However, the topspin play of Ma Long gradually became more assertive and the Chinese star duly levelled matters.

    Policy
    More
    confident, Ma Long’s forehand was very much in evidence in the early
    stages of the third game with Timo Boll responding by playing strongly
    from the backhand.

    Whenever possible, Timo Boll played with
    heavy topspin directing his forehand towards the body of Ma Long; the
    two were level at 7-all, then followed the point of the tournament if
    not the point of he year.

    Timo Boll returned topspin after
    topspin from Ma Long as he was pinned to the surrounds before replying
    in kind to win the point. The crowd responded and so did Ma Long, he
    won four of the next five points to win the game and thus moved into a
    two games to one lead.

    Confident
    A close win and Ma Long was confident, brimful of confidence; he raced into an 8-2 lead; his forehand in top gear.

    He surrendered only one more point to clinch the game and create a two games cushion.

    Response
    Timo
    Boll responded; in the fifth game he established a 5-3 lead, Ma Long
    levelled at 8-all but then to the delight of the crowd the next two
    points went to the German.

    It was game point, an opportunity, Timo Boll seized the opportunity; he was now only one game in arrears.

    Sixth Game
    In
    the sixth game the early advantage was with Timo Boll; he went ahead
    6-4 but the next two points went to Ma Long; his forehand fears.

    The
    next two points were shared before Timo Boll moved ahead 9-7 afer Ma
    Long had erred twice on the return of service; the German won the next
    point on the Ma Long service. Ma Long saved the first game point but
    with Timo Boll serving not the second.

    A seventh game beckoned.

    The Decider
    The crowd chanted "Timo, Timo, Timo"; and he duly responded; he won the first three points of the seventh game.

    Ma
    Long called "Time Out", the pause worked in his favour; the German
    momentum had been halted. The Chinese star levelled at 3-all.

    However,
    when the players changed ends the advantage was with Timo Boll, he led
    5-4. Serving he won the next point to create a two point advantage and
    then shared the next two points with Ma Long on the Chinese star’s
    service.

    Victory Secured
    The chants of "Timo, Timo, Timo", rang loud and clear as he moved into a 9-5 lead and then at 10-6 held match point.

    An opportunity, it was converted, Timo Boll, as five years ago, was in the final.

    Timo Boll’s wife in the crowd applauded and the pet dog wagged his tail in admiration!

    Source: www.ittf.com

    Posted by ttfan @ 10:32 pm

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