World Number One MA Adds to World Tour Titles with German Open Victory

Berlin, Jan 31, 2016: The first 2016 ITTF World Tour Super Series event, the German Open, concluded today, 31 January 2016, at the Max-Schmeling-Halle in Berlin. The star-studded tournament attracted a capacity 4,200-cheering crowd in the final day, where four gold medals were awarded.

For the highlight match of the day, it was a Men’s Singles battle between 39-year-old Vladimir SAMSONOV of Belarus and 27-year-old MA Long of China, the two players with the highest number of World Tour Men’s Singles titles.

Eventually, it was world number one MA who proved to be unstoppable, dropping only one game in the entire tournament to defend his German Open title. The 4-1 (11-7, 11-6, 11-4, 10-12, 11-5) win over the world number 11 added on to his current tally of 24 World Tour Singles title, closing in to SAMSONOV’s record of 27 Singles title, including one from the 2005 German Open.

“It was not that easy to win this final! I don’t have a great winning record against Vladi, so I had to prepare more. But I’m really happy to defend my title, and keep playing well on the World Tour!” commented MA.

In the Women’s Singles, China’s WU Yang faced off with second-seed Kasumi ISHIKAWA of Japan. The Chinese defender’s consistency in returning every point ensured her a 4-1 (11-5, 11-7, 9-11, 11-8, 11-7) win, despite best efforts from ISHIKAWA.

The trend continues where no Women’s Singles winner has ever defended their title at the German Open.

It’s a great feeling to win the 1st World Tour Super Series of the year! Both of us are in good form and played a fantastic match. I was a bit conservative when I was leading, which caused the loss in the third game. However, I overcame the problems and won the final.

Despite the German home crowd fully behind them, HAN Ying and IreneIVANCAN could not stand up to top seeded JEON Jihee and YANG Haeun of Korea. The duo, who also clinched the Women’s Doubles title last week at the Hungarian Open, won 3-1 (11-3, 8-11, 11-7, 11-7) to maintain their perfect World Tour record this year.

And in the last Final of the day, MORIZONO MasatakaandOSHIMA Yuyaof Japan faced off against HO Kwan KitandTANG Pengof Hong Kong in the Men’s Doubles. The Japanese duo, who were the 2015 World Tour Grand Finals winner, took the match in four games, winning 3-1 (11-8, 8-11, 11-6, 11-2).

The German Open also included the Under-21 Finals which were played on Saturday. Japanese HAMAMOTO Yuidefeated her compatriot HAYATA Hina 3-1 (5-11, 12-10, 11-6, 11-6) to clinch the Under-21 Women’s Singles title, while MURAMATSU Yuto of Japan beat GERALDO Joao of Portugal 3-0 (11-7, 11-4, 11-6).

With the first out of six Super Series completed, the players will put their race to the year-end ITTF World Tour Grand Finals on hold, as they prepare for the 2016 World Team Table Tennis Championships held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 28 February to 6 March 2016. —- ITTF

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