25 Feb 2017

What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? 766 shots and a let.

by Wade Townsend

Alright, the pointless was a pathetic attempt at being punny, but if this now infamous 10 minute rally was going any slower it would be in reverse.

Did you notice the subtlety, the variation… Okay who am I kidding, they were just pushing… pushing it to the limit! 

But this sport is hard and lasting the full 10 minutes is not to be shrugged at; I know some guys that can’t even last 10 seconds. Remember, it’s always better to be the tortoise and not the hare.

Look, is this the most exciting display of table tennis ever? Nope. How about tactical play of the decade? Maybe. Li Jie came from 2-0 down to win 11-9 in the seventh. A catchup that relied upon expedite coming in to effect.

“In the third game in which the long rally occured, I wanted to try changing my serve and started to “push”, I didn’t expect that Sato started to “push” as well, and it ended up with that long rally.” Li Jie

Not the most classic tactic, but a win’s a win and haters gonna hate.

“I didn’t realise that the rally went on for so long, till 10 minutes, I think it ended up 10 minutes and 30 something seconds. After that my coach threw a ball into the court, and the umpires interrupted the game.” Li Jie

That’s right, her coach threw the ball in to the court. It seemed that the umpires forgot they were meant to interrupt the game to commence expedite after 10 minutes. Oops.

And don’t worry, we will be back to Dima’s blistering backhands in no time. But until then why not celebrate a sport where such anomalies can exist. If Vladimir Samsanov and Koki Niwa can face off against each other on the court, you know you have a game with variation and diversity at its heart.

If you have the time, find a seat and brace yourself for the full 10 minutes in all its glory.

World Tour 2017 Seamaster Qatar Open