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Ma Long and Fang Bo book semi-final places

Finalists at the Qoros 2015 World Championships, in different halves of the draw in Doha, at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Qatar Open, China’s Ma Long and Fang Bo emerged successful in their quarter-final Men’s Singles duels on the morning of Saturday 25th February.

Ma Long, the top seed, beat Portugal’s Marcos Freitas, the no.12 seed (11-7, 11-8, 8-11, 11-7, 11-9), after Fang Bo, the no.11 seed, had accounted for colleague and qualifier, Liang Jingkun.

Fang Bo who beat Liang Jingkun (Photo: Hussein Sayed)

Success earlier in the competition against Korea’s Fang Bo in a seven games duel (8-11, 14-12, 10-12, 11-7, 11-9, 10-12, 11-3), followed by a six games decision in opposition to colleague Xu Xin (11-6, 11-7, 14-12, 4-11, 4-11, 13-11) en route, eventually Fang Bo proved too safe too consistent for Liang Jingkun.

Opportunities for Liang Jingkun were comparatively sparse, the chances to make an impact coming in a close first game when neither player was really settled to the task and in the third game when a substantial 7-4 lead was established.

Fang Bo reduced the deficit to one point at 8-7; Liang Jingkun elected for “Time Out” but was never able to capitalise on the break. The fact that Fang Bo secured the third game turned the tide; in the fourth he never looked back.


“I was mentally well prepared for the difficulties that I would face during the match, so I didn’t expect to win four-nil against Liang Jingkun. I think my performance has been improving along the way here in Qatar. In my match against Jang Woojin, I was not very used to the playing conditions, so that match was more intense. After that, the last match a