Wang Liqin wins ITTF Pro Tour
Defeats China team mate Ma Lin in final
ITTF Press Release
WANG Liqin and MA Lin, the finalists in the Menís Singles event at the Volkswagen Pro Tour Grand Finals are no strangers to each other; they are colleagues in the Chinese national team and in international tournaments they had played each other on no less than seventeen times prior to their meeting on Sunday 12 December 2004.
The first encounter had been in September 1999 at the Panasonic China Open when, at the semi-final stage, MA Lin had prevailed in four games. The match being played in an era when it was best of five games in international competition and games were played to twenty-one points as opposed to the modern day eleven.
Coincidentally, their most recent meeting had been in Wuxi in September 2004, once again at the Panasonic China Open when once again, MA Lin had prevailed at the semi-final stage, winning in five games!
In between times WANG Liqin had won eight of their encounters whilst MA Lin seven to his credit.
On Sunday 12 December 2004 WANG Liqin won the first two games in impressive style, consistent from the backhand, devastating from the forehand; he won both games 11-8 but in the third made errors as MA Lin gained in confidence; the latter winning by the convincing 11-3 margin to reduce the match score deficit to one game.
It was not to be the start of a major recovery; WANG Liqin won the fourth game and in the fifth raced ahead 6-0 then 7-1. MA Lin made errors when trying to attack with the forehand and as he had throughout the match, gained some success when he played a fast backhand wide to the WANG Liqin forehand.
However, in topspin to topspin rallies WANG Liqin won time and time again. He established a 9-3 lead at which stage MA Lin elected for a `Time Outí. He won the ensuing point but the reprieve was only temporary. WANG Liqin won the next point and the contest finished in exhibition mode with WANG Liqin jumping over the barriers to retrive the ball as both players circumnavigated the table and left the umpire somewhat perplexed.
The point went to WANG Liqin and he was the winner of the Menís Singles event at the Volkswagen Pro Tour Grand Finals
WANG Liqin (CHN) bt MA Lin (CHN) 11-8, 11-8, 3-11, 11-9, 11-4
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