Wang Hao

Wang Hao is currently the world’s fifth highest ranked player. He is a strong force in the Chinese tirade in table tennis. In the last 6 years, he had been consistently within the first 5 ranks. In December 2004, he even held the world’s first place before slipping back a little. In the 2004 Summer Olympics game, Hao won the silver medal, after losing to Ryu Seung Min of Korea in the finals.

Wang Hao plays with a penhold grip. He is very famous for the revolutionary reverse backhand stroke, which is his exclusive specialty. With this technique, he is able to ‘loop drive’ the ball over the net on service returns. This is a very effective counter driving technique. The heavy spin on the ball makes opponents miss when countering the stroke. However, his forehand is not that powerful, though he is able to play forehand strokes with enough accuracy and spin.

In the final of the 2009, Men’s Singles event at the H.I.S. World Championships in Yokohama, Wang Hao was crowned World champion after winning the four straight games against defending champion and colleague, Wang Liqin. It was the same story in the Tournament of Champions in Changsha in January 2009. Hao retained his Men’s Singles title by beating national team colleague, Wang Liqin in a five games final. Before that he also won the 2008, Evergrande Real Estate World Team Table Tennis Championship. In the 2008, World Cup Final, Wang Hao successfully retained his World Cup crown by defeating Germany's Boll.

In January 27, 2007, Hao successfully defended his Men’s Singles title in Velenje at the Gorenje Slovenian Open. A year earlier, he had beaten compatriot Chen Qi in the Liebherr Slovenian Open. In the 2007 event, he was facing Ryu Seung Min of Korea. Prior to this match, they had met fourteen times and Wang Hao had triumphed on twelve occasions. In this match, Wang Hao never allowed Ryu Seung Min to launch any sort of offensive. He was totally ruthless throughout the match, taking the title in 4 straight games, 11-9, 11-7, 11-5, and 11-7. This was in total contrast to his earlier quarterfinals match against another Korean, Joo Se Hyuk, when he was extended to 7 games, with the sixth game dragging on, till Hao won the game at 16-14. Later, Ryu Seung Min admitted that Wang Hao played perfect table tennis, while his game was very bad.

In December 2006, Wang Hao triumphed at the Asian Games in Doha in Men’s Singles finals and at the Volkswagen Pro Tour Grand Finals in Hong Kong. On December 17, 2006, in Hong Kong, he defeated Oh Sang Eun of Korea in 6 games. Initially, he struggled a little, losing the first game 7-11. He took the second game at 11-8, but slipped again in the third, conceding it at 4-11. However, he won the next 3 games at 11-2, 11-8, and 12-10 to emerge triumphant. In fact, the Korean was ahead 10-6 in the sixth game but missed his chances, allowing the Chinese to storm back into the game.

Another memorable match for Hao in recent times was at the Croatian Open in Zagreb on January 20, 2007. He partnered Ma Lin to win the doubles title, beating Korea’s Cho Eon Rae and Lee Jung Woo. The Chinese pair was relentless in their attack, winning in straight games at 11-3, 13-11, 11-7, and 14-12. The victory in Zagreb was the tenth Men’s Doubles ITTF Pro Tour success for Wang Hao.

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