DOHA: Reigning Olympic and world champion Ma Long outsmarted Germany’s Timo Boll in his Round of 16 match to seal a quarterfinal place at the ITTF World Tour Platinum Qatar Open here on Friday.
The Chinese superstar, guided by national coach Qin Zhijian, won 12-10, 11-7, 11-4 and 11-8 against the fourth seed and will meet Japan’s Mizutani Jun, who defeated Pavel Sirucek, in the last eight.
After struggling to find the pace and zing against Frenchman Tristan Flore in the Round of 32 on Thursday, Ma, who has won thrice won the title here, seemed to have found his lost touch against the German.
However, compatriot and top seed Xu Xin was stretched to six games by Japan’s Oshima Yuya in their Round of 16 match.
After losing the first two games 9-11 and 10-12, the Chinese had to work hard to bounce back into the match as a blip in concentration almost left him in disarray.
But the 29-year-old regained composure and won the next four games 11-3, 11-8, 13-11 and 11-4 to progress to the next round.
Japan’s 15-year-old Tomokazu Harimoto had an easy 12-10, 11-8, 11-8, 11-8 win over China’s Liang Jingkun. The extremely talented world No.4 will not meet Sweden’s Mattias Falck, who dispatched Belgium’s Cedric Nuytinck 10-12, 11-5, 11-4, 11-7, 8-11, 11-4.
Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov also saw his campaign end following a 4-11, 11-6, 11-13, 10-12, 11-9, 7-11 defeat against Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yun-Ju.