Ma Lin and Chen Qi

Left-handed 26 year-old Chen Qi, the World no. 13 from Nantong, Jiangsu who has been a member o f the Chinese National team since he was 15 won his second ITTF Pro Tour Mens Singles title with a superbly executed 4-1 win over Olympic Champion Ma Lin.

Chen Qi started the brighter and although Ma Lin hit some fantastic shots (you wouldn’t expect anything else) it was Chen Qi who seemed the sharper. Ma Lin hit back and weathered a storm to take the third game 13-11 and it was clear that the fourth game would be a big one. However, Chen Qi shaded it 14-12 and the writing was clearly on the wall for Ma Lin. Chen Qi  called the shots in the fifth end and suddenly he had the bounce of a Champion. On several occasions his back-hand counter-attacks, taken off the bounce from Ma Lin’s full-blooded  forehands had to be seen to be believed.

Probably not the Chinese player many of us had expected to take the Mens Singles title but a very deserved Champion all the same.

Game, set and the English Open Championship  2011 to Chen Qi 11-5, 11-4, 11-13, 14-12, 11-4.

Steve Kerns