Ma Long Crowns 3rd Straight Men’s Singles At Budapest

On the final day of play in Budapest, Chinese Dragon’s Ma Long Sunday defeated Swedish counterpart Mattias Falck with an overwhelming victory (11-5, 11-7, 7-11, 11-9 and 11-5), claiming the men’s singles title for the third time in a row at 2019 ITTF World Table Tennis Championships.

 

Chinese Dragon poured a 6-2 lead in the opening game and kept the ball low to curb the rival’s attack. The defending champion swiftly took the game 11-5.

 

In the second game, Mattias Falck started to revive, struggling to establish a 6-5 lead. However, Ma performed aggressively after clawing back four points and forced his opponent into a turnover, securing the second game 11-7.

 

 

The Swede stormed a 9-2 run in the third game and resisted Ma’s counter-attacks, ending the game 11-7.

 

The fourth game witnessed a seesaw battle between two players given a consecutively rising score. Mattias Falck called a time-out with a 9-8 lead in a crucial moment, but it failed to delay Ma Long’s attacking as he nailed three consecutive points to take the game 11-9.

 

After a 4-1 lead in the fifth game, Ma was clawed back by Mattias’ three points. The unstoppable Ma forced his rival’s several turnovers and changed the game 9-4. The defending champion then took his time-out leading 9-5 and seized the match point. After a deadly turnover by Mattias, Ma secured the decisive game and claimed his third World Championship.

 

 

“I think this is a special celebration for me and I just want to enjoy this moment for now. I want to thank my Chinese fans and also foreign fans for their support. I am not only interested in winning this title but I also want to gain respect from you,” Ma thanked his fans following his success.

 

“…Mattias has improved a lot since last year because we played against each other at Halmstad in 2018. He is a rare player with his style of play, he is strong tactically and mentally and I think he will be our rival in future,” the 30-year-old also praised his final rival after their thrilling battle.

 

“Ma Long is a clever player, who changes a lot in the match and he has no weaknesses whatsoever. But I will have to improve my tactics and be more aggressive next time I meet him,” said Mattias Falck.

 

“As a member of the Chinese team, you have to play under pressure because of the records set by our predecessors for us. So for me, I want to continue with the tradition and that is why I tried my best in every tournament,” Ma added.

 

Source: CGTN