by Simon Daish
Ma Long was seeded second for the event and was looking to collect his first ITTF World Tour Men’s Singles gold medal on Australian soil.
However, despite his best efforts the 29-year-old wasn’t able to shake off a knee issue ahead of the tournament leaving no real choice but to announce his withdrawal.
While fans heading to the Geelong Arena unfortunately won’t get the chance to see Ma Long in action at the Australian Open, fellow Chinese star Xu Xin will be competing in the Men’s Singles draw with the likes of Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov and 2018 Japan Open gold medallist Tomokazu Harimoto also lined-up to play.
The ITTF wishes Ma Long a full and speedy recovery.