Ma Long after winning the Austrian Open is new No.1

25.09.2011

 

There was a particular high tension that was created in the World number one arithmetic prior to the first rally in the men's singles final at the Austrian Open in Schwechat.

 

 

 

The winner in China's internal battle between Ma Long and Zhang Jike would decide who the new World number one would be in the October ITTF rankings.

 

And it turned out to be a memorable, highly developed dramatic final with the highest level play on display!  The 21-year-old Ma Long, already a World number one in 2010, caught the better start, as if shot from a pistol as he completed the first set at 11:3.  But the reigning world champion Zhang Jike countered by return mail and equalized the match at 11:5 in the second game.  Back and forth they exchanged games until the seventh and final chapter, when Ma Long streaked to a comfortable 10:6 lead, apparently ready to close out the match.  But Zhang Jike showed incredible fighting spirt and managed the impossible by fending off four match points to go to deuce.  The two more times Zhang is down but not out.  Then, it was Ma Long who had to ward off a challenge at 12:13!  Proceedings finally concluded the final game at 14:13, with Ma Long the winner of this hard-fought championship (3, -5.8, -6.9, -4.13).

 

 

Ding Ning undefeated in Austria


A perfect record continues on Austrian soil by the reigning World champion Ding Ning.  In her first experience in Austria, she was part of the Junior World Championships in 2005, where she won gold medals in singles, doubles, and team.  Complementing that was a clean slate of undefeated play at the World Team Cup in 2009, also contested in Linz.  Now, with this third start in this Pro Tour event in singles and doubles, she remains unbeaten in Austria.  She and her partner Li Xiaoxia dominated with a 4-0 (6,7,7,11) in doubles, and was almost as convincing in the singles, allowing compatriot Liu Shiwen only the opening game success.  Her commanding play in the next four games won Ding Ning the title and a World ranking of 3. 

 

 Men's singles:
 Final:
 MA Long (CHN / 4) - Jike ZHANG (CHN / 3) 4:3 (3, -5.8, -6.9, -4.13)

 Women's singles:
 Final:
 Ding Ning (CHN / 2) - Liu Shiwen (CHN / 3) 4:1 (-6,1,9,7,7)

 Men's doubles:
 Final:
 MA Long / Wang Hao (CHN / 2) - MA Lin / Zhang Jike (CHN / 1) 4-1 (-9,5,9,6,10)

 Women's doubles:
 Final:
 LI Xiaoxia / DING Ning (CHN / 1) - WU Yang / FAN Ying (CHN / Q) 4:0 (6,7,7,11)

 

Wolfgang Paulik / ÖTTV

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