Wang Liqin

Wang Liqin is currently ranked sixth in world table tennis. He held the number one rank from January 2005 till February 2007. Only in March and April ranking, Ma Lin had pushed him to second spot. Between June 2004 and November 2004 also, he was holding the number one position. Again, between February 2002 and October 2002, he was ranked number one. His win average is a very high 84.7%. Between 2003 and 2009, he was always ranked amongst the top 5 players in the world.

He is considered to possess a great forehand drive, unmatched by other players. He was born in Jiangsu in China on June 18, 1978. He started playing table tennis when he was 6 years of age. He was found a very talented player and was selected for the men’s national squad of China when he was just 15 years old.

Wang Liqin plays with a shakehand style. He is very tall. Hence he is able to impart more power to the strong forehand and backhand loop shots, in which he excels. Thus, he is able to generate additional momentum and acceleration, making it difficult for the opponents to counter his power play.

Liqin is the most successful male player in the history of the ITTF Pro Tour with twenty Men’s Singles titles at open international tournaments on the ITTF Pro Tour and he has been crowned thrice the champion at the end of year Grand Finals. He won the bronze medal match against Sweden’s Jörgen Persson with four games to nil in the 2008 Olympic Games. Liqin was beaten by Ma Lin at the penultimate semi final stage of the 2008 ERKE Qatar Open. Wang Liqin played a very crucial role in winning the 2008 World Team Table Tennis Championship.

Wang Liqin won the men’s World Championship in 2003 and in 2005. In the 2005 Championship finals, he was up against Ma Lin. They had played against one another nineteen times in World Ranking events before that. Liqin had won 10 times, while Ma Lin had triumphed 9 times. So the head-count was pretty even. As such, a keen contest was on the cards in the finals.

He won the first game 11-9, after they were even at 8-all. However, Ma Lin took the first 7 points in the second game and eventually closed the game at 11-3. In the third game also, Ma Lin surged to a 6-0 lead before Liqin recovered to 6-9. Eventually, Ma Lin took that game also at 11-8.

In the fourth game, Ma Lin moved forward to 9-7. At that crucial juncture, Ma Lin took a time out to compose himself for his next 2 serves. However, Liqin played a strong game to win the next 4 points and close the game at 11-9. The fifth game saw him take a lead of 9-6 but Ma Lin fought back to equal the scores at 9-all. Great topspin rallies followed and eventually Wang Liqin won the game also at 11-9.

In the sixth game, Liqin established an early lead of 4-1 and stretched it to 8-6, then to 10-7. It was Championship point. Ma Lin forehand topspin shot hit the base of the net and Wang Liqin became the men’s World Champion for the second time in his career. It was one of the most glorious moments in his table tennis career.

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