Ma Long vs Wang Liqin
video kindly shared by ttCountenance
The 2012 China Open Men Singles had their semifinal stage in the final day of the tournament. In the upper half of the draw, the top seed Ma Long fought for his place in the finals against teammate and Shanghai veteran Wang Liqin.
Ma Long didn't have much exposure in last week's tournament in South Korea after he was defeated in the Round 16 by Lee Sang Su. This week, Ma Long showed a different performance as he reached the semifinals. Meanwhile, Wang Liqin has also been performing very well in his home soil, trying to redeem himself from an early exit in the Asian Cup.
Between these two players who have something to prove, it was Ma Long who took control as the match started. The world's number one dominated the opening set with 11-4. However, the veteran fought back in the second set where he posted a lead in 7-6. Upon noticing it, Ma Long overtook to set point in 10-8 and converted the advantage to a solid point with 11-8.
Ma Long was still in control as the set progressed into the third set. Although Wang Liqin came close to 4-5, Ma Long did not give more opportunities for the veteran to take the lead. At this point, Ma Long is in a much favorable position as he leads in 3-0 with 11-7. In the fourth set, Ma Long withstood the resistance from Wang Liqin and sealed his place in the finals with 11-7.
Eventually, Wang Liqin was not able to keep up with the younger player from Beijing. However, despite his loss in the round, Wang Liqin has proven his strength after reaching this far. Win or lose, he has already made his mark in table tennis. As for his future in the sport, we can only wish him well in his endeavors.
Photo source: sohu.com