Ma Long outstanding for Volkswagen 2011 China
Photo By: Samantha Sun
Volkswagen 2011 China vs. World Team Challenge
Representing the host nation, Ma Lin, Ma Long and Xu Xin overcame the trio of Timo Boll, Joo Se Hyuk and Jun Mizutani to win the Men’s event at the Volkswagen 2011 China Versus World Team Challenge on Saturday 25th June 2011.
Ma Long gave the champions elect the perfect start by beating Jun Mizutani. Timo Boll then leveled matters by overcoming Xu Xin before China assumed control.
End of Success
However, this was the end of the World Team's success.
Ma Lin overpowered Joo Se Hyuk in four games before Ma Long and Xu Xin brought matters to an end in a most impressive manner. In three straight games Ma Long beat Timo Boll and Xu Xin defeated Jun Mizutani.
Against most mortals Jun Mizutani can play a slight distance away from the table in a Mikael Appelgren or Jacques Secretin fashion of bygone years; against the top Chinese players in the second decade of the 21st century you cannot do that and most definitely not against Ma Long.
The power of the pile driver forehand makes such a ploy a recipe for defeat; once the Ma Long forehand is flowing it is easier to stop a juggernaut on Highway 61.
In the contest the very slightly earlier timing point of Ma Long when impacting the table tennis ball gave him the marginal advantage; certainly if Jun Mizutani could execute a heavy topspin early in the rally from the forehand he could succeed.
He was given few opportunities; Jun Mizutani revels in the rallies, the power of Ma Long meant rallies were minimal. The first two games were close but after winning the second there was extra confidence flowing through the Ma Long veins.
A straight games verdict was the end result; Ma Long won 12-10, 11-9, 11-4.
Different to Qatar
Earlier in the year, in the final of the Men’s Singles event at the Qatar Open in Doha; Xu Xin had overwhelmed Timo Boll.
In Shanghai, it was a quite different story; the duel went the full five match distance.
The task for Timo Boll was to somehow nullify the long raking forehand topspin of Xu Xin, surely one of the longest in the world; the shorter quicker action from Timo Boll, counter topspinning before the peak of the bounce and thus taking some risks, had seen the German secure the fourth game to level matters.
Certainly winning that game had boosted the confidence of Timo Boll; in the fifth game he led 5-2 when the players changed ends.
One Point Surrendered
Attacking quickly over the table, Timo Boll answered the topspin of Xu Xin; in fact he surrendered just one more point win the contest in five games.
A Break and then Onslaught
A break in proceedings for Shanghai to play the New York Spin Club and then it was back to action with vengeance.
In 2003 in Bercy in the suburbs of Paris, Joo Se Hyuk had proved himself against the best of China; he beat Wang Hao en route to the final. Equally Ma Lin lost to a defender on that occasion, he was beaten by Chen Weixing.
Eight years later, life is much different; the policy of treating the defender like an attacker when serving is very much the mind-set. Against Joo Se Hyuk, whenever possible it was service and a powerful forehand to follow.
The plan worked and despite Joo Se Hyuk gaining some respite in the third game, Ma Lin was the master.
He won 11-3, 11-9, 7-11, 11-3.
China Super League
An emphatic win for Ma Lin and that must be a major confidence booster for one day hence. On Sunday 26th June, Zhejshang Commercial Banks plays Shandong Luneng in the China Super League.
Ma Lin plays for the former alongside Timo Boll and Kazuhiro Chan; Joo Se Hyk represents the latter in harness with two World champions. Zhang Jike, the World Champion and Song Hongyuan, the World Junior Champion, complete the line up!
An emphatic win by Ma Lin and an even more emphatic win followed.
Ma Long beat Timo Boll in three straight games in a contest where Ma Long had a debt to settle.
“I lost to Timo Boll at the World Championships in Moscow”, said Ma Long. “Today I was really well prepared.”
No doubt he was well prepared in Moscow at the Liebherr World Team Championships; on that occasion Timo Boll excelled, in Shanghai, Ma Long was awesome; outstanding.
The juggernaut was unstoppable: he won 11-9, 11-3, 11-6.
Xu Xin Concludes Matters
Stung by the earlier defeat against Timo Boll, the local boy from Shanghai, Xu Xin, returned to the fray.
The powerful forehand was in top gear; three close games but each game went to Xu Xin as he forced Jun Mizutani back from the table.
Xu Xin won 11-9, 12-10, 12-10 to bring matters to an end.