World number one MA Long (CHN) has been sensationally knocked out of the Liebherr 2017 ITTF Men’s World Cup in the semi finals by German legend Timo BOLL (GER).
Before this epic match, the last time the World and Olympic champion MA has lost to a non-Chinese player was back in 2012, where he lost to CHUANG Chih-Yuan. Since then, MA Long has gone on to win two World Championships titles and the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Gold and was seen to be unbeatable!
This all changed today, as 36-year-old BOLL rolled back the years to make one of the biggest upsets in table tennis history, coming back from 1-3 to beat MA 6-11, 9-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-7, 11-5, 12-10 to book his place in the final and a chance to win a third Men’s World Cup crown.
BOLL’s win today, coupled with him, saving seven match points yesterday to beat the other Chinese player at the competition LIN Gaoyuan in the quarterfinals means that there will be a non-Chinese winner for the first time in seven years and signals that the rest of the world are starting to catch up with the Chinese.
BOLL, who had the capacity crown on his feet stated: “I don’t know what to say because it was a crazy match. Being down by 1-3 against such a great player like Ma Long. Even when I was down, I was a bit more relaxed trying to enjoy the game. I must also thank the fans for their support. I think I had nice feeling and having such feeling against such a great player was helpful.”
Timo BOLL will now play his countryman Dimitrij OVTCHAROV in the final, who beat Simon GAUZY (FRA) 6-11, 11-2, 11-8, 10-12, 7-11, 11-4, 11-8.