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Ma Lin wins Volkswagen China Open

Second ITTF Pro Tour Men’s Singles Title of the Year

Ma Lin won his second ITTF Pro Tour Men’s Singles title of the year when he beat Chinese compatriot Wang Hao in the final of the Men’s Singles event at the Volkswagen Open China in Nanjing on Sunday 1st July 2007.

The winner in Qatar in February and the runner up at the Liebherr World Championships in May, Ma Lin collected his seventeenth career Men’s Singles crown on the ITTF Pro Tour.

Seeded two, Ma Lin won in five games: 11-8, 9-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-8.

Twelfth Meeting
It was the twelfth time that Ma Lin and Wang Hao had met in a World Ranking event and it was the seventh time that Ma Lin had won.

The first meeting between the World’s two highest ranked penhold grip players was won by Wang Hao; he succeeded at the quarter-final stage of the Men’s Singles event in December 2002 at the ITTF Pro Tour Grand Finals.

Mixed Fortunes
Success for Wang Hao but then mixed fortunes in the next three meetings all of which were in finals.

In September 2003 Ma Lin won at the Panasonic China Open, in 2004 Wang Hao succeeded at the Greek Open, then later in the year when the two met once again at the Panasonic China Open it was victory for Ma Lin.

Success for Ma Lin
The next three duels all came at the semi-final stage with Ma Lin winning two of the three contests. In September 2004, Wang Hao won at the Volkswagen Open China but at the Men’s World Cup and later in the year at the Volkswagen Open China in 2006 the victor’s name was Ma Lin.

Two wins in row and Ma Lin made it a third in October 2006 when he succeeded in the final of the Liebherr Men’s World Cup in Paris.

End of Year
However, at the end of the year Wang Hao extracted revenge in the final of the Men’s Singles event at the Asian Games in Doha and he was successful again in January 2007, when he won at the semi-final stage at the Gorenje Slovenian Open.

Success for Wang Hao but in their second meeting in 2007 it was victory for Ma Lin; he won at the penultimate stage of the Men’s Singles event at the Liebherr World Championships in Zagreb.

Prepared
“I was well prepared for this tournament in Nanjing, I used the right tactics against different opponents and everything went smoothly”, said Ma Lin. “Actually the final was a hard game and the pressure was heavily on me.”

Ma Lin was under a degree of pressure but he is used to such situations. “I was very determined in the final; that was a major factor”, continued Ma Lin. “We are familiar with each other, we are roughly at the same level.”

Support
After his defeat in Zagreb when on the threshold of victory in the final of the Men’s Singles event at the Liebherr World Championships, there has been some sympathy for Ma Lin and he was grateful for the support received in Nanjing.

“I have to thank the spectators here in Nanjing for their great support”, he said; the defeat in Croatia must still hurt but in Nanjing he could celebrate.

He was the champion.


Image: Ma Lin the Men's Singles champion at the Volkswagen Open China Photo By: ITTF Asia Office

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