by Ian Marshall, Editor
The performance the round, most certainly it was one of typical sheer efficiency, the thought that Ma Long may be a robot who is programmed to unleash crushing forehands of equal velocity, supporting the theory.
Was it the showpiece? No, my vote goes to the player who beat the other leading German name to suffer. The vote goes to Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yun-Ju.
Winner five days earlier at the Seamaster 2019 ITTF Challenge Plus Oman Open and thus brimful of confidence, the 17 year old, who had been required to compete in the preceding two day qualification tournament, accounted for Dimitrij Ovtcharov the no.13 seed (11-4, 6-11, 13-11, 12-10, 9-11, 11-7).
Lin Yun-Ju belongs to a special club, the talented left handers club; those player who have been blessed with the ability to learn very quickly. Simply you show them what to do and immediately they can complete the task. Denmark’s Michael Maze, China’s Chen Qi and the latter’s colleague, Lin Gaoyuan, on duty in Doha, all belong to the society.
Of course there is much more to excelling at sport that having a high level of natural skill and, in table tennis, an exquisite feeling for the ball.
In Doha, in the second round of the men’s singles event, did not Lin Yun-Ju show he has much more that golden hands to beat Dimitrij Ovtcharov; to succeed against such a player you must be mentally strong. Perhaps the German sets an example for Lin Yun-Ju to behold.
Last year, injury hit, Dimitrij Ovtcharov suffered a torrid time; this year in the first week of February normal service was resumed; he won the CCB 2019 Europe Top 16 Cup in Montreux. It is never easy to keep winning when you are winning but when you have experienced a series of defeats it is ten times more difficult. Dimitrij Ovtcharov showed massive character to win that event.
At the moment, whatever Lin Yu-Ju touches turns to gold but there will be downturns, there will be times when there is a lull in form; that is where he can learn from Dimitrij Ovtcharov, return more determined, return stronger. Remember Lin Yu-Ju is only 17 years old he is human, not like Ma Long a robot.