Ma Lin vs Alexey Liventsov
video kindly shared by janus770
Yesterday, the Olympic champion Ma Lin failed in his opening round in the Harmony 2011 China Open in Suzhou. The number two seed in the competition faced the qualifier form Russia Alexey Liventsov. In the match, Ma Lin struggled and eventually lost in seven sets.
Ma Lin's performance started really slow in the match. He lost in the first two sets with 5-11, and 2-11. In the third set, Ma Lin finally posted his first win with 11-7. However, Liventsov quickly gained his 3-1 advantage with 11-9 in the fourth game. Ma Lin tried to catch up and scored 11-3 and 11-9, successfully leveling in 3-3. However in the deciding set, Ma Lin already had an early sign of defeat after lagging in 1-8.
"My movements were rather slow. I have been experiencing some pains in my wrist since the Super League. I wasn't able to train my backhand and just used my forehand instead. So today, I did not dare used my backhand and I fought passively. My forehand also had some difficulties." Ma Lin conveyed his difficulties after the match.
Ma Lin admitted that the reason for his defeat lies within himself. "I lost today because I lacked preparations. He (Liventsov) fought normal. There were just some differences in my performance especially in my attacks."
Ma Lin appeared in front of the audience after his match with good demeanor. He came into the exhibit inside the stadium for a book signing event. Ma Lin behaved normally and gave his time to his fans, who lined up for him early that day.
On the other hand, credit should be given to the twenty nine year old Alexey Liventsov of Russia. The Russian qualifier did not just defeat Ma Lin but also the world's twenty fifth Seo Hyun Deok a few hours later. Liventsov actually hasn't gone up the Top 100 in his career. However, he proved rankings don't matter in terms of victory.
"When I saw the draw, I felt so unlucky as I would face Ma Lin. Then I told myself,I got nothing to lose. To me, the victory was lke a dream come true. I am really proud of my performance today. I need to digest the fact that I actually won over the reigning Olympic champion here," Liventsov exclaimed after his match against Ma Lin.
Photo source: en.beijing2008.cn