Superstar pair Boll and Ma storm into second round at Table Tennis Worlds

Source: Xinhua| 2017-05-31 10:23:33|Editor: huaxia
Video PlayerClose

DUSSELDORF, Germany, May 30 (Xinhua) -- Superstar pairing of Timo Boll and Ma Long stormed into the second round of the men's doubles event at the World Table Tennis Championships here on Tuesday.

Local hero Boll, an 16-time European champion, and Ma, the defending men's singles champion and Olympic gold winner, breezed past Hungarian duo of Tamas Lakatos and Kriztian Nagy 11-5,11-6,11-9,11-1.

Dubbed the "Legendary Duo" by the ITTF, the sport's world governing body, Boll and Ma had played twice before. They won the title at the 2013 China Open but were stopped in the second round by eventual winners Zhang Jike and Xu Xuxin from China.

"It was not always easy to play the first round," Boll said. "But the feeling was perfect after the win."

"It was a good opportunity to play with the world's best player and to have a good result. He (Ma) is not only a great player but also a nice person. I have a lot of respect for him. It is an honor to play with him," Boll added.

Boll, who finished third in the men's singles event in 2011 and won the doubles silver in 2005, said it would be great if they could win Germany's first world title in 27 years in front of a home crowd.

"We have the chance," the 36-year-old said. "But in the third round we might meet a pair of Chinese players. That's tough opponent," he predicted.

Germany's last title was won by Jorg Rosskopf, now the German national coach, and Steffen Fetzner, from the men's doubles event in the 1989 Worlds held in Dortmund.

They are most likely to meet Xu Xin and Fan Zhendong in the third round as the Chinese tandem also easily won their match.

The other German-Chinese pairing of Petrissa Solja/Fang Bo delighted the home crowd by winning two matches to reach the third round in the mixed doubles.

Another mixed-nationality pairing of current European men's doubles champion Patrick Franziska of Germany and Jonathan Groth of Denmark also advanced to the second round by eliminating their opponents from Romania.

In the women's doubles event, Tatyana Bilenko of Ukraine and Viktoria Pavlovich of Belarus sensationally knocked out the number one seeds Georgina Pota of Hungary and Matilda Ekholm of Sweden 4-2.

The men's doubles competition saw Japanese pairing top seed Yuya Oshima/Masataka Morizono, survive their first test on their journey to the podium with a 4-0 win over Marcos Freitas of Portugal and Andrej Gacina of Croatia. Enditem