Xu Xin vs Ma Long
video kindly shared by janus770
The 2012 China Open Men Singles had its conclusion today in Shanghai with the world's number one Ma Long and the Shanghai pride Xu Xin in the finals.
We saw a different Ma Long in this week's China Open after experiencing an early exit last week in Incheon. In addition to his redemption against Koki Niwa, Ma Long also reached the finals where he met the fourth seed Xu Xin. As the match started, Ma Long was in his usual dominating image and took the opening set with 11-6.
After losing in the previous game, it was Xu Xin's turn to dominate the show as he nailed a 7-1 lead. This time, Ma Long was not able to take back the limelight as Xu Xin ended it with an 11-5. Eventually, Xu Xin's performance in the previous set gave him the confidence to penetrate into the attacking skills of Ma Long. Despite some resistance, Xu Xin survived a tight game in 12-10.
When the fourth set started, Ma Long was facing some difficulties as he cannot anymore establish a commanding lead. Xu Xin stayed close in the scores until 8-9. However, Xu Xin's efforts ran short as Ma Long leveled in 2-2 with 11-9. In the fifth set, Xu Xin ensured a good lead against Ma Long and led in 3-2 with 11-7.
At this point, Ma Long was placed in a threatening position as Xu Xin was one set away to the title and was having the momentum in the set. Xu Xin was leading in 7-2. Ma Long tried to catch up but he came late as Xu Xin sealed the match with 11-4.
In previous occasions, Xu Xin only came close to winning against Ma Long. Last week against Zhang Jike, Xu Xin also came close to the title after losing in 10-12 in the seventh set. Tonight, Xu Xin exceeded the expectations and made his crowd proud of him after successfully clinching the Men Singles title.
Photo source: sohu.com