SHENZHEN, South China – Chinese veteran Ma Long swept No. 2 seed Lin Gaoyuan 4-0 to win a record breaking 28th men’s singles title at the ITTF China Open here on Sunday.
Ma moved one title ahead of Vladimir Samsonov of Belarus, who had 27 ITTF world tour titles. Retired Chinese players Wang Linqin had 21 and Ma Lin had 20, followed by German veteran Timo Boll who had 19.
“I did focus on every match, rather than caring about the record,” Ma said.
“Of course I am very happy to win this title, and I am even happier that it was president Liu who awarded me the trophy,” Ma said after the medal ceremony.
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Liu Guoliang, the president of the Chinese Table Tennis Association, attended the awarding ceremony and hugged his favorite disciple.
Ma went unstoppable to win the last three games 11-5, 11-5 and 11-4, after edging Lin 12-10 in the first game.
“To be honest, sometimes I really don’t know why I could win,” Ma said.
“The only word in my heart is fight, when I encounter some real tough opponents,” he added.
Ma overcame world No. 1 Fan Zhendong in the quarterfinal. The 31-year-old believes the younger Fan will be the future of Chinese table tennis.
“The future is in Fan’s hands. Team China is hard to beat because we are a team,” Ma said.