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One Step Higher for Ma Long and Xu Xin, Title Secured in Rotterdam
By: Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Xu Xin and Ma Long immediately after the moment of victory  Photo By: Rémy Gros

5/14/2011        GAC GROUP 2011 World Table Tennis Championships (Click here to access this section)

The runners up in Yokohama in 2009, the Chinese partnership of Ma Long and Xu Xin went one step higher at the GAC GROUP 2011 World Table Tennis Championships in Rotterdam on Saturday 14th May.

They secured the prestigious title beating compatriots Chen Qi and Ma Lin, the 2004 Olympic champions and 2007 World champions, at the final hurdle.

In a most impressive manner Xu Xin and Ma Lin recorded a five games victory; they won 11-3, 11-8, 4-11, 11-4, 11-7.

Clear Goal
“We had a very clear aim when we came here, we had been the runners up in Yokohama in 2009, here we wanted to be the champions”, explained Xu Xin; in simple terms, they succeeded.

Two years on, life has moved forward with both Ma Long and Xu Xin having experienced success and defeat in the two intervening years.

More Mature
“Now we are more mature”, added Xu Xin. “We are able to cope better with pressure situations.”

More mature and learning all the time.

Career Low
Last year at the Liebherr World Team Championships in Moscow I lost to Timo Boll in the final; Ma Lin won both his matches and guided the team to victory”, said Ma Long. “After that tournament I hit a career low.”

However, judging by the way Ma Long played against Ma Lin in the quarter-finals of the Men’s Singles event in Rotterdam the low is now over.

Apply Pressure
“In the final we tried to put pressure on our opponents from the very start of the match”, explained Xu Xin. “They are more experienced than us, they are older.”

Certainly Chen Qi and Ma Lin possess a plethora of titles, they have won just about everything there is to win; the career record makes them one of the great doubles pairings of all time.

Far to Go
“Our policy from the very start was to fight hard”, added Xu Xin. “Yes, the left hander partnering the right hander is a good combination but we are not perfect, we still have far to go.”

No perfect, no one is but in Rotterdam they were very near; room for improvement, a sobering thought for the rest of the world!


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