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Number Nineteen win for Liqin

Liqin defeats Ma Lin in Qatar open final

ITTF Press Release

WANG Liqin beat Chinese national team colleague, MA Lin, in the final of the Menís Singles event at the Liebherr Qatar Open on Friday 25th February 2005 to clinch his nineteenth ITTF Pro Tour Menís Singles title. He has now won sixteen times at international tournaments and three times at the ITTF Pro Tour Grand Finals.

MA Lin, despite his defeat in Qatar today, remains the player with next best Menís Singles record having a total of twelve ITTF Pro Tour titles to his credit, eleven being at international tournaments with one being gained at the ITTF Pro Tour Grand Finals in 2001.

The two players first met at international level at the Panasonic China Open in September 1998 when MA Lin won in four games at the semi-final stage before losing in the final to the man who now sits courtside as the coach, LIU Guoliang. Since that meeting the duo have faced each eighteen times with WANG Liqin successful on ten of those occasions and the more successful player in their most recent encounters. In fact in their last five meetings MA Lin has won on only one occasion, that being in September 2004 at the Panasonic China Open in Wuxi, when he prevailed in five games at the penultimate stage, before beating WANG Hao in the final to clinch the title.

In Qatar WANG Liqin was very impressive, the tournament attracted the majority Worldís top players and the next time they meet it will be at the Volkswagen 48th World Championships, in Shanghai; WANG Liqinís home town, and judging by the form he showed this week he fully justified his number one ITTF World Ranking and regaining the title he won in 2001 in Osaka is most certainly a very realistic possibility.

Menís Singles: Final
WANG Liqin (CHN) bt MA Lin (CHN) 11-8, 12-10, 11-6, 8-11, 11-9

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