Beijing, Apr 3 : Chinese table tennis player Ma Long defeated compatriot Lin Gaoyuan 4-2 to win the men's singles title at the 2019 Qatar Open after eight months out with injury. The 30-year-old captain of China's men's national team also defeated rivals such as Timo Boll, Jun Mizutani and Xu Xin on his way to claiming the title.
Ma suffered a scare in the final, losing the first two games as Lin took control. However, the 11th seed was able to draw on his previous big-match experience to stage an inspirational fightback, winning the next four consecutive games to claim his 27th ITTF World Tour title. "In the context of my long standing injury, to come back the way I have done, this is the happiest ITTF World Tour title victory of my career," said Ma. "Winning here provides the perfect boost ahead of next month's World Championships and, of course, aids my long-term preparations for next year's Olympic Games."
Ma's international teammate Fan Zhendong, who won the men's singles title at the 2018 Qatar Open, didn't participate in this year's competition, but remains top of the ITTF world rankings. Chinese men and women account for four and five places respectively in the top ten of the ITTF's world rankings. (UNI-XINHUA)