He has done it: Ma Long is and remains the best table tennis player on the planet. The 28-year-old defended his world title spectated by 8000 people in the sold-out exhibition hall Düsseldorf. In the finals, he won against his countryman Fan Zhendong in thrilling seven sets.
Ding Ning made the triple: after her victory 2013 in Rotterdam and 2015 in Suzhou she added title number three to her collection. Xu Xin and Fan Zhendong are World Champs as well, while the local heroes Boll & Ovtcharov lost their matches.
Sold out, stunning matches and pure emotions: Day five at the LIEBHERR World CHampionships in Düsseldorf had it all. 8000 spectators in the hall 6 of Messe Düsseldorf supported especially Timo Boll, Dimitrij Ovtcharov and Ruwen Filus, which all made the move into the round of the last 16.
Today Petrissa Solja made the entry into the semi-finals in the mixed competition, thus securing a medal. With their Chinese partner Fang Bo, the left-hander won in the round of the last eight against Matilda Ekholm/Mattias Karlsson from Sweden within five sets.
Again no luck for the "Legendary Pair" at the draw this morning. Already in round 3 they will meet the supposed strongest double Fan Zhedong / Xu Xin. The showdown would be on Thursday noon. It is a Deja Vu of the WTTC two years ago, when Timo Boll / Ma Long were defeated by Zhang Jike/Xu Xin at second round.
In general, a bet on the table tennis Singles Champion coming from China will not win you much money. Almost any of the competitors from the Middle Kingdom could win the Singles title, especially title defenders Ma Long and Ding Ning.
The voluntary helpers: they are the unsung heroes of the LIEBHERR World Cup in Düsseldorf. Without their helping hands, there would be no competition, because they, their dedication, their helpfulness and friendliness are priceless.