Ma Lin wins French Open
Ma Lin completed the hat-trick of threes on the concluding day of play at the Liebherr French Open in Toulouse on Sunday 4th November 2007, when he beat Chinese national team compatriot, Wang Hao, in the Menís Singles final.
Earlier in the day Ma Lin and Wang Hao had won their third ITTF Pro Tour Menís Doubles title of the year and by beating Wang Nan, Zhang Yining won her third ITTF Pro Tour Womenís Singles title of the year.
Seeded one, Ma Lin overcame second seed Wang Hao in five games.
He won 8-11, 11-8, 12-10, 11-8, 11-7.
Earlier in the year in February he had won the Menís Singles title at the Liebherr Qatar Open beating Wang Liqin in the final, whilst on 1st July 2007 at the Volkswagen Open China, he had secured top spot on the medal rostrum when, as he did in Toulouse, he beat Wang Hao to capture gold.
He lost to Ryu Seung Min in the quarter-finals, the first time he had ever been beaten by the Korean in a World Ranking event.
Back to Form
September and October have been outstandingly good months for Wang Hao. He won the Menís Singles title at the China Mobile Asian Championships and he succeeded in Barcelona at the Liebherr Menís World Cup; the excellent performances duly took him to top spot on the ITTF Menís World Rankings.
The win puts him clear of Vladimir Samsonov but he trails colleague Wang Liqin who has a grand total of twenty-three Menís Singles titles on the ITTF Pro Tour. Ma Lin is now in second place with Vladimir Samsonov, the owner of sixteen titles in third spot.
They have now met five times in the current year and Ma Lin is one ahead following his success in Toulouse.
Wang Hao prevailed when they met in the semi-final of the Menís Singles event at the Gorenje Slovenian Open and at the same stage at the Panasonic China Open.
However, in the semi-finals at the Liebherr World Championships in May in Zagreb it was Ma Lin who won and in the final at the Volkswagen Open China, he also won.
Third French Title
In Toulouse he grasped Menís Singles and Menís Doubles gold whilst eight years ago, in 1999, he won the Menís Doubles crown with Kong Linghui.
As they say, everything comes in threes.
Photo: Ma Lin, the Men's Singles champion in Toulouse
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