ITTF. The 2012 World Tour Grand Finals reached to its concluding day today, December 9, with the Men's Singles and the Women's Doubles nearing it's end.
Ma Lin's opportunities have significantly decreased lately due to the rise of the younger players. So, whenever there is an opportunity, Ma Lin is expected to give his all. Indeed, in this week's competition, Ma Lin has came prepared, taking advantage of the opportunity that his biggest opponents, probably Timo Boll and his younger teammates, are not present.
Ma Lin remained undefeated and booked his place in the semifinals against Xu Xin. However, in today's game, the younger player and Shanghai's future Xu xIN was in the momentum. Despite some brilliant play from the veteran, Xu Xin, with all due respect as well, was awesome in the arena. Xu Xin nailed a good lead of 2-0.
After losing the first two sets, Ma Lin get all hyped up forcing Xu Xin some errors. The lead wasn't that commanding for Ma Lin but obviously the control was on his side. Despite some resistance on Xu Xin's part, Ma Lin was able to pierce through his opponent and finally got a set to his name.
As soon as the fourth set started, Xu Xin ushered a stream of points while Ma Lin was struggling to recover. Unfortunately for the 2008 Olympic champion, control shifted to his opponent, placing him in great pressure.
The fifth set served as a critical point for Ma Lin. He just needed to win it to hold on to his hope for the finals. Indeed, Ma Lin got a lead. But when Xu Xin took over the score board, Ma Lin took a timeout. After the game resumed, Ma Lin did not quite achieved the momentum he hoped for.
Xu Xin's backhand earned him a match point advantage in 10-9 and with a forehand, the match was over. Xu Xin proceeds to the finals while Ma Lin's journey in the competition ended. The score was 11-7, 11-9, 8-11, 11-6, 11-9.
Xu Xin vs Ma Lin 2012 Grand Finals
video kindly shared by TableTennisEevents
Meanwhile, in the Women's Doubles, Singaporean pair of Feng Tianwei and Yu Mengyu, after not so successful journey in the Singles, claimed their place in the finals after winning over Hong Kong's Jiang Huajun and Lee Ho Ching in 11-9, 12-10, 11-8, 10-12, 11-8.
Photo source: sports.sohu.com