By Henry Chen
“First, congratulations to Liu Jikang. He performed well in the first match. It was a big challenge for me. He defeated me. As a younger player, his fighting spirit and momentum are worthy of recognition,” said Ma Long.
Yesterday, 15th October, the 2016 Chinese Table Tennis Super League officially opened its doors to the spectators. Shandong Weiqiao was scheduled to battle against their guests from Shenzhen for the opening round.
Ma Long was the first player for the hosting team and faced Liu Jikang. In four games, the winner in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Men’s Singles was defeated in 13-15, 9-11, 11-5, 5-11.
“As for me, my performance today clearly lacked something,” he added.
Ma Long revealed that he was pressured to play well in such match. It was the opening game and they were playing in front of their home crowd. He wanted to win but was afraid to lose. He was hesitant in his shots and gave a lot of opportunities to his opponent.
“Liu Jikang was able to make it difficult for me,” he said.
Yesterday’s match was just the beginning of this season’s proceedings. There are still 17 rounds left. Ma Long can still definitely make up for his opening loss. He hopes to adjust better next time and have better preparation.
“I hope that through this match I will be able to find my purpose and adjust my condition. I want to have better preparation in subsequent matches,” Ma Long concluded.