The last final the Ahoy Arena saw today was the Men's Doubles one between the Chinese pairs Ma Long / Xu Xin and Chen Qi / Ma Lin.
Ma Long / Xu Xin were new to the final stage on a world championships as a doubles pair, while Chen Qi / Ma Lin have been widly successful through the years being Olympics Champions in Athens 2004 (the last ones as doubles events have been discontinued) and World Champions in 2007 WTTC in Zagreb.
But today things were different.
It all started earlier with the victory of Ma Long / Xu Xin over Korea's Jung Young Sik / Kim Min Seok in 6 games by an score of 11-2, 11-4, 6-11, 12-10, 11-13, 11-7. A match where the Chinese started very well gaining the first 2 games just to become slower all of a sudden, allowing the Jung and Kim to get back at the match and making the public feel sympathetic towards the Koreans. "After winning the first two games, we became sort of restrained" Xu Xin confessed, "but we were very determined in the sixth game to push ourselves forward" he concluded.
In the other side, Chen Qi / Ma Lin faced their compatriots Wang Hao / Zhang Jike, a terrific duo considering their own individual skills but more importantly the fact that Wang Hao has been twice World Doubles Champions, once with Kong Linghui and once with Chen Qi himself.
So, before their singles defeats, Chen Qi / Ma Lin showed a superior performance to the one showed by Wang Hao / Zhang Jike and reclaimed the match by a 4-2 score 8-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-6, 9-11, 11-8.
The final was ready and it'll be played between Ma Long / Xu Xin vs Chen Qi / Ma Lin later in the day.
Then came the Men's singles event, and should Ma Lin or Chen Qi be able to win their matches maybe we will be telling another history now. We will never know.
The Ma Long / Xu Xin duo showed a superb performance during the final, taking control of the match from the first moment and only giving away 1 set to the highly experienced duo of Ma Lin / Chen Qi.
It was like today's defeats suffered by Chen Qi against Timo Boll, and Ma Lin against Zhang Jike, prevented them from giving their best in the doubles event, even when that could have allowed them to go back home with more than just their empty hands.
But they couldn't, and no matter how much their insisted attacking, Ma Long / Xu Xin were simply a wall, and a very good one actually. They reclaimed the match by a relatively easy score of 4-2 (11-3, 11-8, 4-11, 11-4, 11-7) and they were the new World Champions.
Congratulations to Ma Long and Xu Xin for the fantastic work they did today in the Men's Singles Doubles Finals!
Check below an interview the ITTF did to Xu Xin / Ma Long after the final. Enjoy!
Photo source: STIGA Official Facebook Page