Xu Xin beats World No.1 Ma Long in ITTF World Tour Finals
China's World No.2 Xu Xin beat compatriot and World No.1 Ma Long 4-3 to win the men's final of the GAC Group Table Tennis World Tour Grand Finals.
The 23-year-old Xu cashed in $104,000 prize money, while Ma Long won $52,000.
Both showed the maximum of their talent during the Sunday's final. Xu, wearing a green top, decided the first game for himself.
Ma, aged 25 and dressed completely in black, answered in the second set. Xu told Xinhua afterwards that it was his toughest match ever.
Ma, who defeated Kim Men-seok from South Korea in the semifinal, won the second set 12-10.
During the third set, Ma smashed a forehand to reach 5-5, and the fierce exchange symbolised the entire neck and neck battle between the two world's best players.
The fifth set marked the turning point. Xu scored the longest winning streak within a set and quickly reached a score of 11-5 with Ma looking increasingly unsatisfied with his own performance.
After Ma struck back in the sixth set, he made some unnecessary mistakes in the seventh, while Xu quickly reached an advance of 6-1 and won the set 11-5 finally.
Also Sunday, China's Ding Ning and London 2012 Olympic champion Li Xiaoxia won the women's doubles title with a 4-0 victory over Cheng I-Ching and Huang Yi-Hwa from Chinese Taipei.
Ding lost to World No.2 Liu Shiwen in the women's singles Saturday. Gao Ning and Li Hu won the men's doubles.
(Posted on 13-01-2014)