MA Long Closes in on World Tour Record

Chengdu, China, June 8, 2014: World Tour Record, MA Long (CHN) has moved closer to becoming the most successful ever ITTF World Tour player by clinching gold at the GAC Group 2014 World Tour Super Series China Open which concluded on 8 June 2014 in Chengdu, China.

The world number two defeated the world number one XU Xin (CHN) 11-7, 11-9, 8-11, 11-7, 11-4 to claim his 17th World Tour title, which is only six behind the legendary Vladimir SAMSONOV (BLR) who is on 23.

After his victory, the 24-year-old stated: I am very happy to win my 17th World Tour title, this means a lot. However I still have quite a few wins left if I am going to catch up to Samsonov’s record of 23.”
“I had a near-perfect event here, I would like to thank all my fans in Chengdu who came out and supported me, it meant a lot.”

DING Ning (CHN) broke her drought of never winning the China Open by defeating world number one and team mate LIU Shiwen (CHN) 11-6, 5-11, 11-8, 11-7, 4-11, 2-11, 11-2 in the women’s singles final in front of a capacity crowd at the Sichuan Province Gymnasium.

“I am satisfied with my performance here in Chengdu, I am very happy that I was finally able to win my home event, the China Open,” stated the 23 year old.

The story of the 17-year-old prodigy FAN Zhendong (CHN) continued in the men’s doubles as he teamed up with the singles champion MA Long (CHN) to win his first ever World Tour doubles gold.

The combination of FAN Zhendong and MA Long was too strong for XU Xin (CHN) and Olympic and World Champion ZHANG Jike (CHN) in an extremely entertaining final, defeating them 6-11, 11-4, 5-11, 11-4, 14-12.

A thrilled FAN, who shocked the world by winning the German Open last year as a 16-year-old, stated: “We did a good job in the final and played well with each other. It was an honour to play with MA Long. This is the first time I have won a world tour doubles title so it is exciting.”

Women’s singles champion DING Ning (CHN) teamed up with the woman she beat in the singles final, LIU Shiwen (CHN), to win gold in the women’s doubles.

The Chinese pair were simply too good for the young duo from Chinese Taipei CHENG I-Ching & HUANG Yi-Hua, winning 11-5, 11-4, 11-9.

Asuka MACHI (JPN) handled the pressure of his first under-21 final well as he upset the Philippines Open under-21 Champion CHEN Feng (SIN) 6-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-4, 2-11, 11-4, 11-7.

Australian Open under -21 winner, 13-year-old Mima ITO (JPN), had to settle for silver this time around, as she was comprehensively beaten by CHEN Szu-Yu (TPE) 7-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-7, 11-7.

The China Open was the 10th event out of 21 in the GAC Group 2014 ITTF World Tour. At each event, the players earn Race to Bangkok points to qualify them for the 1-million-dollar GAC Group 2014 World Tour Grand Finals to be held in Bangkok, Thailand on 11-14 December 2014. —- ITTF

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