On 2011's China Open Ma Lin was hailed the champion. However, in this year's competition, the Olympic champion failed to defend his title as he was defeated in Round 16 by the South Korean veteran Oh Sang Eun.
"Oh Sang Eun is an old rival. We have been in countless competitions and already experienced both winning and losing. In the first game, I was not able to take all the opportunities and I was chaotic in the second set. My mobility was not really good as well... I was not very excited." Ma Lin said after the match.
In the China Open Men Doubles, Ma Lin partnered with Zhang Jike. Before reaching the finals against teammates Ma Long and Wang Hao, Ma Lin and Zhang Jike met the South Korean pair of Kim Min Seok and Seo Hyun Deok. In their match, the top seed scored 4-2. "The opponents in the Doubles are becoming more familiar. They have improved relatively quickly in recent years. They have a certain degree of strength, especially the right-handed Kim Min Seok. They really threatened us in the match." Ma Lin added.
Meanwhile, we all know that Ma Lin will not be in the limelight in the upcoming London Olympics due to the reforms in the number of players by team. A lot speculated that this might affect the future performances of Ma Lin: "The lineup for the London Olympics is already out and I am not included in it. Currently in the training and the matches, I can say that I have become more relaxed. There is no sense of a heavy task in the competition, so the feeling is not the same as before. I have been one of the main players for several years then suddenly there's this downward trend. There is really a change of tone. After losing my eligibility, I hope that my teammates will be able to complete the Olympic task." Ma Lin concluded.
Photo source: sports.sina.com.cn