Home / Sports / News Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read | Comment
2 Chinese into TT semis, defending champ out
Adjust font size:

Chinese Wang Hao and Wang Liqin went well to book their semifinal berths but defending champion Ma Lin was stunned by South Korean Ryu Seung Min at the table tennis men's World Cup quarterfinals on Saturday.

Ryu, the 2004 Athens Olympic champion, upset the odds to beat Ma 12-10, 11-7, 6-11, 13-11, 12-10, smashing Ma's hope of winning a record fifth World Cup in Barcelona.

Top seeded Wang Hao fought off resistance from Singapore's Gao Ning before winning 11-2, 13-11, 11-13, 11-4, 3-11, 11-3, while Wang Liqin, three time world champion, clinched a quick 11-7, 11-4, 11-7, 11-9 victory over Werner Schlager of Austria.

Timo Boll of Germany became the only non-Asian semifinalist, eliminating Vladimir Samsonov of Belarus 11-3, 11-8, 11-7, 2-11, 11-7.

Boll, absent from the team World Cup in a week ago, was satisfied with the result especially after having been sidelined for about two weeks due to a bad cold.

"I was happy with my performance, especially in this match. I played Vladimir many times before, and each time was tough," said Boll.

"He was good at long rallies and you had to move much against him. I'm happy I won.

"My feeling is good but the physical condition is not one hundred percent fit. But I hope I have recovered enough to play that level to the end."

Although Ryu was the 2004 Athens Olympic champion, his quarterfinal victory in five sets was quite unexpected considering that Ma, seeded second, has won the tournament four times and kept unbeaten record in their previous 11 meetings.

"Ma played very bad," Ryu said, "I never won over him before but he seemed a bit nervous today."

"I don't know why," he added.

In the opening set, both of the world class penholds paddlers adapted the strategy of directing the attacks towards the body of the opponent.

At 10-all they were level, the stage at which Ryu underlined the reason why he is the reigning Olympic champion.

Stunning footwork, fast counterattacks and a stroke of fortune saw him win the next two points.

The inspired South Korean was quickly 2-0 up after taking the second set 11-7. Ma regained his pace and responded with a 11-7 win in third set to cut down the gap.

Ryu was then made to battle prolonged sets but he held nerves to end the competition in five set.

Recording his first win over the Chinese, Ryu produced a double surprise for the spectators.

Earlier in the afternoon's last round of group stage, he saved a total of seven match points against Chuan Chih-Yuan of Chinese Taipei to secure a 15-13, 7-11, 7-11, 11-7, 7-11, 20-18, 11-9 victory as well as a place in the last eight.

He trailed by three sets to two and was down 3-7 in the sixth. He leveled and then fought from behind seven times before winning the set 20-18 and then succeeding by the narrowest of margins in the decisive seventh.

(Xinhua News Agency October 14, 2007)

Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read

Pet Name
China Archives
Related >>
- Chinese paddlers start as favorites at men's WC
- ITF president points out 3 keys to develop Chinese tennis
- Playing table tennis in style
Most Viewed >>