As early as the 2011 Rotterdam World Table Tennis Championships, Malone and Xu Xin teamed up to win the men's doubles championship. Last night at the 2020 National Table Tennis Championships, it was the old pair that had the last laugh. Facing the powerful impact of the powerful combination Lin Gaoyuan/Liang Jingkun, Ma Long/Xu Xin achieved a reversal with tacit understanding and ability.
Xu Xin (left) and Ma Long won the men's doubles championship. Photo/Xinhua News Agency
Lin Gaoyuan/Liang Jingkun was the winner of the men's doubles at the Asian Championships last year. Their partnership time is not short, but in front of Ma Long/Xu Xin, both experience and understanding are far from enough.
Xu Xin was in a general state in this game. Due to multiple roles, he showed fatigue in the last game; Malone was not as fast and connected as young players as he grew older.
In the first game of the men's doubles final, Lin Gaoyuan/Liang Jingkun attacked fiercely and quickly connected. Ma Long/Xu Xin were tired of parrying. Lin Gaoyuan/Liang Jingkun took the lead with 11-8.
For most of the second game, the initiative of the game was still in the hands of Lin Gaoyuan/Liang Jingkun, who once obtained a 9 to 5 lead. In a passive situation, Malone/Xu Xin communicated frequently, every ball must be contested, using accurate calculations to maintain the situation first, waiting for the opponent to make a mistake. Sure enough, Lin Gaoyuan and Liang Jingkun were eager to win the game. Whether it was Liang Jingkun's return to the net or Lin Gaoyuan's short draw, they all reflected impatient emotions.
In the tug-of-war, the old Malone/Xu Xin “grinded” to victory in two consecutive rounds (the score was 15 to 13 and 14 to 12), which also made Lin Gaoyuan/Liang Jingkun chaotic. In the next two games, Lin Gaoyuan/Liang Jingkun's mentality fluctuated significantly. They played out of order and made frequent mistakes. They lost 3-11 and let Malone/Xu Xin win the championship again.
Lin Gaoyuan/Liang Jingkun’s hard power is not weaker than their opponents. Judging from the first two games, both power and speed have the absolute upper hand. But having strength does not mean that the ability to win the game is stronger. Whether it is skills, tactics or mentality, Ma Long and Xu Xin can be said to have made textbook-like demonstrations.
After the match, Ma Long and Xu Xin believed that the young players were advanced in their play styles, and the impact on them was getting stronger and stronger. This time they could win the victory through communication and changes, but they could not always take their roots. More importantly, they should be in skills and tactics. The law requires progress and breakthroughs.
In this way, the old pair who have been on the top still have room for improvement, which is also necessary for them to ensure victory in the Olympics next year.