Ma Long Edges Closer to History at the ITTF China OpenPhoto: Courtesy ITTF
2015 World Champion, MA Long, has taken one more step closer to creating history by winning his 20th ITTF World Tour title today at the GAC Group 2015 ITTF World Tour China Open
MA edged closer to the legendary Vladimir SAMSONOV's record of 26 ITTF World Tour titles, with an impressive victory over world number two, XU Xin, in Dujiangyan, Chengdu.
The world number one, who had to come from behind in the semifinal to beat lowly ranked Yuya OSHIMA from Japan, was simply too powerful for his team mate XU in the final, prevailing 13-15, 11-4, 11-7, 12-10, 11-9.
After the match the 26 year old stated: "This is the sixth time I have won the China Open, so it is very special to me. It also takes me one step closer to SAMSOMSOV's ITTF World Tour record. XU is always a very tough opponent. I knew I had to be in my best form to defeat him, and thankfully today I was in front this awesome crowd here."
ZHU Yuling, who is from the Sichuan province, used her home ground advantage perfectly, as she blew the current World Champion DING Ning off the court in a ruthless display in front of the capacity crowd.
The 20 year old won her second ITTF World Tour title surprisingly easy 11-9, 11-4, 13-11, 11-8 to claim gold at the final ITTF World Tour Super Series event of the year.
"I really felt the support today from my local crowd" stated the world number three," and I know DING Ning is an amazing player, so I needed to be at the top of my game. It was a surprise that I played so well and won 4-0. This was because I put all my heart and soul into match. I am so happy to be the champion!"
It was defeat for XU Xin in the men's singles, but a win in the men's doubles as he teamed up with FAN Zhendong to defeat FANG Bo & ZHU Linfeng (CHN) 10-12, 11-6, 7-11, 8-11, 9-11 in the final.
LIU Shiwen made up for her disappointing semifinal loss against ZHU Yuling by teaming up with CHEN Meng to claim the women's doubles title. The Chinese duo defeated their teammates GU Yuting & MU Zi 11-3, 11-9, 11-8 to ensure that they both don't go home empty handed.
In the under 21 singles, Hitomi SATO from Japan won an extraordinary fifth women's title in 2015 and seventh overall to confirm herself as the dominant under 21 player on the planet.
The men's under 21 title went to the 2013 Junior World Champion JANG Woojin from Korea, who is quickly establishing himself as a future star of the sport.
The world's best players now head to Bulgaria for the GAC Group 2015 World Tour Bulgaria Open, which starts on 19 August 2015 in Panagyurishte.