Men's Singles quarterfinal matches were simply electrifying. From the early, easy victory of Wang Hao over Jun Mizutani, who couldn't challenge the World Champion as Ryu Seung Min did and so was forced to resign his intentions of getting a medal on this WTTC, passing through the duel where Ma Long put an end to Ma Lin's hopes of getting a career's Grand Slam after having failed three times in the finals, and the duel where Zhang Jike prevented Wang Liqin to reach WTTC's semifinals for a 4th time in a row, until the tense duel where an extremely sharp Timo Boll was the first non-chinese to eliminate a chinese player, Chen Qi, during these WTTC.
And besides what these players were fighting for today -a ticket for WTTC semifinals- today's defeats of Ma Lin and Wang Liqin in the quarterfinals stage at the hands of Ma Long and Zhang Jike respectively, have a very deep meaning as well: the commandment of the Chinese National Team. But that will be the subject of a future article.
Tomorrow we will start at 10:30am Rotterdam time, for the Men's singles semifinals between Wang Hao vs Ma Long (in a re-play of 2009 WTTC semifinal in Yokohama) and Zhang Jike vs Timo Boll (in a re-play of the recent German Open final where Zhang Jike beat Timo). Timo is the only person in the world who has a word about the absolute dominance of the Chinese on this tournament. Will he able to join the parthenon of European TT heroes where such figures as Jan-Ove Waldner, Jorgen Persson, Jean-Philippe Gatien and Werner Schlager are waiting for him to win the WTTC? We will see tomorrow in the Men's Single final duel to be played at 15:00hrs Rotterdam time!
Women's Singles finals between Li Xiaoxia and Ding Ning was as intense as any of the Male's matches from today. It was the second time that Li Xiaoxia got the opportunity to seize the golden medal in a TT World Championships and to do she should face 20 years old Ding Ning.
Ding Ning. That same Ding Ning that was broken in very small parts last year in Moscow after losing to Feng Tianwei and thus giving away the Team's World Title to Singapore. And also the same one that was stopped by Li Xiaoxia herself in the 4th round of 2009 WTTC in Yokohama.
And Ding Ning got her revenge after crushing Feng Tianwei back in the quarterfinals and then winning 2011 WTTC final against Li Xiaoxia showing an incredible amount of determination, even on those moments where it seemed Li Xiaoxia was recovering from being behind 0-3 to be extremely close to reach a 3-3 score.
Ding Ning learned the lesson at the cost of great pains in past tournaments and now's she stood victorious by 4-2 (10-12,11-13,9-11,11-8,11-8,7-11). Now it'll be time for Li Xiaoxia to do the same if she doesn't want to suffer the same fate as Ma Lin in the World Championships.
Congratulations Ding Ning for your outstanding performance to gain the 2011 WTTC Women's Singles World Title!
Today's bittersweet semifinal and final duels in the Men's doubles where greatly influenced by what happened in the singles' side.
At first it was all happiness for Ma Lin / Chen Qi after beating Wang Hao / Zhang Jike in the semifinals duel. Similarly, Ma Long / Xu Xin beat Jung Young Sik / Kim Min Seok to gain their first tickets to a World Championships' doubles final.
But then the singles duels came and Ma Lin and Chen Qi were defeated, while Ma Long stood victorious against Ma Lin nothing less. On his side, Ma Lin learned he won't be able to reach the long desired career's Grand Slam, while Chen Qi couldn't satisfiy Liu Guoliang's desires after trusting him with the mission to stop Timo Boll.
Those facts greatly influenced the performance of the past Olympics and World Champions pair during the final, where they looked a bit disoriented and so didn't play their best Table Tennis. That fact was used by Ma Long / Xu Xin to took control of the match and finally beat them, by an score of 4-1 (11-3, 11-8, 4-11, 11-4,11-7) becoming the new World Doubles Champions.
Congratulations to Ma Long and Xu Xin for winning the Men's Doubles World Championship!
Women's Doubles semifinals where the chronicle of a foretold death. Just a couple of hours ago I were telling you how leveled looked the Women's Doubles event in comparison to the other ones, because there were just 2 Chinese competitors and other 2 from HK and Korea respectively.
But damn, how Chinese dominated it looks now! Both Chinese pairs crushed their opponents by 4-0 scores: Li Xiaoxia / Guo Yue over Kim Kyung Ah / Park Mi Young and Ding Ning / Guo Yuan over Jiang Huajun / Tie Yana.
So, the Chinese will fight tomorrow for the Women's Doubles Title in the final doubles match of 2011 WTTC, a match that will face again Li Xiaoxia and Ding Ning in a World's Championships final.
Will Li Xiaoxia be able to overcome Ding Ning this time, or Ding Ning will be so full of confidence, that after seizing the Singles Title she has the better odds to seize the Doubles one as well? We will see tomorrow in the Women's Doubles Final at 14:00hrs Rotterdam time!
Photo source: laxtoast flickr