Zhang Jike's Adversary Hasn't Been Produced Yet (Videos)

Zhang Jike's Adversary Hasn't Been Produced Yet (Videos)
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Zhang Jike has certainly taken everyone by surprise in the recently concluded 2013 World Championships. Indeed, there were other strong players in the competition but their strength did not lead them to where they should belong, the finals, perhaps lacking the conviction to win. As of today, Liu Guoliang believes that the person who will overcome the Grand Slam champion hasn't been produced. 


Sina Sports. Xu Xin and Ma Long are two of the names expected to battle in the 2013 World Championships Men's Singles finals. However, pressure was too much to handle and eventually, it was Zhang Jike who fully displayed the features of a true world champion. 

The world's number one Xu Xin has showed great progress since last year, defeating the Olympic delegates Zhang Jike, Ma Long and Wang Hao, months before the 2012 London Olympics. During the Qatar Open, Xu Xin posted a reversal against Wang Hao and in the China Open (Shanghai station), Xu Xin consecutively won over Zhang Jike and Ma Long.  

Xu Xin vs Wang Hao 2012 Qatar Open MS Finals
video kindly shared by janus770

Xu Xin vs Zhang Jike 2012 China Open MS SF
video kindly shared by janus770

Xu Xin vs Ma long 2012 China Open MS Finals
video kindly shared by janus770

However, in the 2012 Men's World Cup in Liverpool, Xu Xin lost to Ma Long in the semifinals and lost the Bronze medal from Vladimir Samsonov. It was Ma Long who won the championship crown that time. After the loss, Xu Xin was back on track again and gained momentum at the start of the year. 

Xu Xin vs Vladimir Samsonov 2012 Men's World Cup Bronze
video kindly shared by janus770

Ma Long vs Timo Boll 2012 Men's World Cup Finals
video kindly shared by janus770

Meanwhile, the world's second player, Ma Long, after defeating Timo Boll in the World Cup finals, has shown to the world that he has also progressed in terms of mental strength. With both having no chance to take part in the 2012 London Olympics Singles event, Xu Xin and Ma Long aim for the 2016 Olympic Games. 

With that in mind, Xu Xin and Ma Long maintained their drive for victory and indeed gained momentum at the start of this year. Of course, in order to have the precious chance to be in the Olympic arena, they must prove themselves first in the world competitions. 

However, their experiences and motivation only led them to a certain point in the 2013 World Championships as psychological strength was the determining factor. Xu Xin was swept by Zhang Jike and Ma Long lost to Wang Hao. 

Eventually, in a field where everyone is technically strong, the player who has much more to offer in terms of mental strength will certainly rise to the occasion and in this case it was Zhang Jike who was able to strike the perfect balance of technical and mental strength.     

"Honestly speaking, Zhang Jike's main opponent as of now is himself." Liu Guoliang started. 

On the other hand, the Chinese head coach believes that competition will be more uncompromising for Zhang Jike in the future but in terms of present condition, everyone else still doesn't have enough ability to block Zhang Jike.  

"I believe that young players like Ma Long, Xu Xin, and Yan An will not allow Zhang Jike to dominate table tennis by himself. But their strength in blocking Zhang Jike is still obviously premature. In short, everything depends on the competition. Results speak for themselves." Liu Guoliang concluded. 

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Wang Hao reached 3 Olympics singles final, and lost all of them

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