By Neha Aggarwal
Gold medalist in men’s team and singles at the Rio Olympic Games, Ma Long, who did not drop a single match, won 67% points on his own serve. Silver medalist Zhang Jike won 55% and bronze medalist Jun Mizutani, who also played the maximum number of hours of table tennis at Rio, won 55% points on his own serve.
While there is a clear difference between Ma Long and the rest when it comes to the percentage of points won on own serve, there is one more variable to consider.
The win percentage on opponent’s serve
Undoubtedly Ma Long is again ahead of the rest of the world. He won 60% points when his opponent served, Zhang Jike won 51% and Jun Mizutani won 52% of the points.
While there is a huge gap between the number one player in the world and the rest, it poses a strong question:
What is Ma Long doing different that he is winning more points on his own and opponent’s serve than the other two medalists?
Is it the strength of his service, receiving and third ball attack or the ability to win a point irrespective of any other variable?
Or is he just the greatest?
The quest for this answer continues as his journey to be the best goes on and on…