Ma Long clean bold by XU Xin in the final

By Abdul Rahim from Dubai, Jan 12, 2014: The Chinese pair of XU Xin and LIU Shiwen are $104,000 richer each after they clinched gold at the 1-million-dollar GAC Group 2013 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals in Dubai.

XU Xin defended the title that he won in Hangzhou a year ago, defeating good friend and world number one MA Long in a gripping match 11-8, 10-12, 11-6, 8-11, 11-5, 4-11, 11-5, to win the most lucrative table tennis event on earth.

XU Xin, who also won the Men’s World Cup in 2013 stated: “My team mates and I have worked very hard in 2013, so it is very satisfying to win the final tournament of the 2013 season.”

“I have played MA Long a lot, and he has beaten me more times than I have beaten him, so it is good to get one over him,” smiled the world number two.

World number one LIU Shiwen rewrote history in the women’s final by winning the gold for the third year in a row, the first player, male or female, that has achieved this feat. On each of those occasions, her opponent was Ding Ning, who has now lost in 4 finals and have never won this prestigious tournament.

On this occasion LIU Shiwen only needed six games to defeat DING Ning 11-9, 9-11, 11-9, 11-4, 4-11, 11-7.

LIU Shiwen, who picked up the “Fan’s Female Table Tennis Star presented by Nittaku” award last night stated: “I’m very pleased and honored now to have won the event three times. DING Ning and myself are on a similar level; it was a really tough match, so I am thrilled to have won.”

Singapore’s GAO Ning and LI Hu retained their Men’s Doubles title by beating the Chinese Taipei partnership of CHIANG Hung-Chieh and HUANG Sheng-Sheng in a dramatic seven games final 6-11, 12-10, 12-10, 8-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-9. The Singapore pair are only the second pair since the Grand Finals were inaugurated in 1996 to achieve the feat of consecutive men’s doubles gold.

Newly crowned ITTF “Female Table Tennis Star presented Vision Magazine Dubai” LI Xiaoxia paired up with DING Ning to cruise to victory in the Women’s Doubles final. The Chinese pair blew away opponents Chen I-Ching (TPE) and Huang Yi-Hua (TPE) 11-8, 11-2, 11-1, 11-7 to stand on top of the podium.

Simon GAUZY (FRA) won an all European Under-21 Men’s Final against defending champion Patrick FRANZISKA (GER) 11-7, 9-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-6, 14-12 to prove himself as a future star.

7th seed YIN Le (SIN) caused a big upset in the Under-21 Women’s Singles final defeating the number one seed and heavy favorite NG Wing Nam (HKG) 11-9, 11-9, 10-12, 8-11, 11-6, 11-6.

The GAC Group 2013 ITTF World Tour Grand Final saw the highest-ranked 16 men and 16 women from the 19 World Tour events battle it out for 1 million dollars, which is the biggest table tennis prize purse in the world. —- Photo By: Jacques Martinos

GAC GROUP 2013 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals, Dubai (UAE) Jan 9 – 12, 2014
Match Results of last and final day of Jan 12, 2014
Women’s Doubles Semi Final DING Ning CHN vs PARK Youngsook KOR DING Ning 4 – 0
LI Xiaoxia CHN YANG Haeun KOR LI Xiaoxia
Men’s Singles Semi Final MA Long CHN vs KIM Minseok KOR MA Long 4 – 0
Women’s Doubles Semi Final BARTHEL Zhenqi GER vs CHENG I-Ching TPE CHENG I-Ching 1 – 4
Men’s Singles Semi Final XU Xin CHN vs FAN Zhendong CHN XU Xin 4 – 1
Women’s Doubles-Final DING Ning CHN vs CHENG I-Ching TPE DING Ning 4 – 0
LI Xiaoxia CHN HUANG Yi-Hua TPE LI Xiaoxia
Men’s Singles-Final MA Long CHN vs XU Xin CHN XU Xin 3 – 4
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