Ma Lin wins Singapore Open

Yet Again Chuan Chih-Yuan is the Runner Up

Chinaís Ma Lin won the Menís Singles event at the Volkswagen Open Singapore on Sunday 10th September 2006 and thus made it three wins in a row on the ITTF Pro Tour.

In the last three ITTF Pro Tour tournaments in which he has competed Ma Lin has won the Menís Singles title. At the Salwa Cup Kuwait Open in February he beat colleague Chen Qi in the final, at the Volkswagen Open China in June, he gained gold at the expense of Wang Liqin and in Singapore he maintained the momentum.

He beat Chinese Taipeiís Chuan Chih-Yuan at the final hurdle in a contest that ebbed and flowed with the crowd thoroughly engrossed in the duel. Ma Lin won 6-11, 11-13, 11-2, 11-9, 12-14, 11-9, 11-5.

Eight out of Ten
It was the tenth time that Ma Lin and Chuan Chih-Yuan had met in a World Ranking event and it was the eighth time that Ma Lin had won.

The two wins for Chuan Chih-Yuan came in March 2002 in the semi-final of the Menís Singles event at the Qatar Open and at the same stage of the Netherlands Open in October 2002. Other than those two occasions, Ma Lin has always prevailed and of the last six meetings, he has won all six.

Fifteen Wins
Furthermore, including one success in the ITTF Pro Tour Grand Finals, it was Ma Linís fifteenth career win in Menís Singles events on the ITTF Pro. The win puts him in second place on the all time list alongside Vladimir Samsonov of Belarus who has an identical number of wins.

Wang Liqin heads the menís list with twenty-two Menís Singles title.

So Near
Meanwhile, for the man Ma Lin beat in the final in Singapore, it was the case of being the runner up once again.

Chuan Chih-Yuan has now reached eight Menís Singles finals on the ITTF Pro Tour during his career; he has only won one of them. The victory came in Rio de Janeiro in 2003 when he beat Swedenís Jens Lundqvist at the final hurdle to clinch the title; otherwise his has always been the best man, not the groom.

However, he does hold one unique ITTF Pro Tour record. In 2002 in Stockholm, he won the Menís Singles title at the ITTF Pro Tour Grand Finals; the one player to win the title before they had won at an open international tournament on the ITTF Pro Tour.

In Singapore, it was once again so near yet so far but Chuan Chih-Yuan was in a positive frame of mind.

ďI think I was too conservative towards the end of the matchĒ, he said. ďI know I was aggressive at the start, I guess I switched off mentally without knowing, I feel fine, I lost but I think I played well today, next time Iíll just have to try harder!Ē

Meanwhile, for Ma Lin he was somewhat relieved. ďMy momentum was not good in the first game, I lost many opportunities in the early part of the match, I donít think I played too badly but I was somewhat passiveĒ, he explained. ďI had my chances early in the match but Iíve had an injury and I aggravated it playing Chen Weixing.Ē

Nevertheless, Ma Lin prevailed. ďItís not easy playing in a final, itís a difficult taskĒ, he continued. ďI didnít feel too good today but I didnít lose my confidence, I knew my strengths and at the end everything worked out right.Ē

It did and Ma Lin was the champion, he had succeeded and he brought down the curtain on a very successful tournament, the Volkswagen Open Singapore 2006.

Photo: Ma Lin who won his third Men's Singles title on the ITTF Pro Tour in 2006 in Singapore
Source: ITTF

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