SEAMASTER 2019 ITTF WORLD TOUR PLATINUM CHINA OPEN
Sunday 2nd June
Imposing performances, titles for Ma Long and Chen Meng
Most impressive performances, the host nation’s Ma Long and Chen Meng won the respective men’s singles and women’s singles title at the Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour Platinum China Open in Shenzhen on the evening of Sunday 2nd June.
Ma Long, the no.11 seed, beat Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto, the no.4 seed (14-16, 16-14, 11-7, 11-8, 11-7), before overcoming colleague, Lin Gaoyuan, the no.2 seed (12-10, 11-6, 11-5, 11-4) to retain the title. In the counterpart semi-final, Lin Gaoyuan had accounted for colleague, Xu Xin, the no.2 seed (11-9, 6-11, 5-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-6).
Thus Ma Long won the China Open men’s singles title for a record eighth time, clear of now retired colleague Wang Liqin who prevailed on six occasions. Moreover, it was his 28th ITTF World Tour men’s singles title, he surpasses the record of Vladimir Samsonov of Belarus with whom he stood level before play began.
Notably of those now 28 wins, there are only four occasions when Ma Long has not beaten a compatriot in the final and those encounters have been against most worthy opponents. He overcame Vladimir Samsonov in the title deciding contest in Singapore in 2008 and in Berlin in 2016; in 2009 in Fredrikshavn he accounted for Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov to secure gold, in 2012 in Budapest his final victim was the Korea Republic’s Joo Saehyuk.
Meanwhile, the no.2 seed Chen Meng overcame Chinese national team colleague Wang Manyu, the no.4 seed and defending champion, in five games (11-3, 8-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-7) to arrest the title, having at the semi-final stage beaten compatriot Zhu Yuling, the no.2 seed (18-16, 5-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-9). In the counterpart semi-final stage Wang Manyu had ended the progress of Mima Ito, the no.7 seed (12-10, 12-10, 5-11, 11-7, 11-6.
It was for Chen Meng her 11th career ITTF World Tour women’s singles title in 14 finals.
By Ian Marshall, Editor
Photo Credit: ITTF