August 17, 2004
Round of 32 Results
Wang Liqin defeats Trinko Keen
Wang Liqin won his first Olympics match today, beating 33-year-old
Dutch player Trinko Keen 4-1 to be the first Chinese player advancing
to the round of 16. In the beginning of the match, Wang was not very
used to the court and the air currents. In game one, Wang, who was
making his first appearance, faced some hurdles and fell behind 3-10.
He took the next 3 points, but still lost that game 6-11. Coach Liu
Guoliang immediately adjusted Wang's tactics, asking him to take one
step back, and focus on mid-distance attacks. After this change, Wang
easily won the second game 11-1. He followed that with 11-8, 11-4 and
11-2 game wins to seal the victory.
After the match, Liu said that overall Wang played quite well. "Better
than expected", he said. "Because this is a first match, Wang did not
play at his best level. He was a little tight. Also, the court was much
bigger than the training halls. There was more resistance due to the
air currents, and he lost the first game".
Wang felt that other than the conditions of the playing court, his
nervousness, his mental attitude and his mistakes in tactics led to the
loss of game one. "In the beginning, I did not receive serves well. My
first-3-ball attacks were not decisive", he said. On the playing court,
Wang said that since he only practiced twice here, he was not very used
to the table. Some of his teammates said the tables were a little
slippery, but this does not bother Wang. In the next match, Wang will
face Worlds runner-up Joo Se Hyuk of Korea.
Wang Hao defeats Rosskopf
Wang Hao beat Rosskopf, a 4-time Olympian, 4-1, on the heels of
Wang Liqin's victory.
The match between two players with great backhands from two generations
started at 12 noon local time. Rosskopf, world-ranked number 29, was
considered as having the best backhand in the world, and has been in
every Olympics since 1992, winner of a silver medal in doubles and a
bronze medal in singles. Wang Hao, a right-handed penholder, uses the
revolutionary reverse backhand in loops and counters, and often
frustrates opponents with his unusual backhand techniques. At the
Swedish Open in 2001, Rosskopf defeated the young Wang Hao 4-1, but at
the German Open in 2003, Wang Hao beat Rosskopf 4-0.
Although this is the first match for Wang, he did not appear tight, and
won game one 11-5. In game 2, the very experienced German attacked
agressively, and led 10-7. Undaunted, Wang scored 5 points in a row to
win the game at 12-10. Then Wang Hao took game 3 11-5. In game 4,
Rosskopf changed tactics and varied his 3rd-ball attacks. He played
even more aggressively, and led again at 10-7. Wang pulled even, but
still lost that game 11-13.
Coach Liu Guoliang later said, "Rosskopf changed his tactics and
successfully attacked, causing Wang to lose confidence. Wang was able
to adjust to those changes later, but did not do it quick enough".
In game 5, Wang did not give his opponents any chance, winning it 11-6.
Ma Lin easily beats Primorac
Ma's Olympic debut was a success. The Chinese star player easily
beat 5-time Olympian Primorac 4-1, and advanced to the round of 16.
After the match, Liu Guoliang expressed his satisfaction. "Our three
players did well today, and each player did better than the previous
one. Ma had the strongest opponent, but he got into playing shape the
fastest. He played a relaxed match, and had good tactics and
While the other Europeans, Boll, Schlager and Waldner among them, were
still fighting hard, Ma had already concluded the match at 11-5, 11-3,
11-3, 9-11 and 11-5.
Ma did not agree with Liu's "relaxed" description. He felt that it
might have looked like an easy match, but he was under some pressure.
His key to winning is "don't think too much".
Like Wang Liqin, Ma complained about the vast court and the air
currents. "Because of the air movement, the ball trajectories in long
counter-loops sometimes were unexpected".
Primorac said that Ma was too strong. He had great serves, very fast
changes in the lines of attack, and used unusual placements. Ma took
risks, and Primorac felt that he had almost no opportunities to keep up
any kind of continuous attacks.
Chung's notes: In the next
round, Wang Liqin plays Joo, Wang Hao plays Lin Ju (DOM), a surprising
over Saive, and Ma Lin faces Waldner. The other match-ups are Boll vs
Schlager, Samsonov vs Leung Chu Yan (who upset Maze), Ko Lai Chak vs
Persson, Ryu Seung Min vs Chiang Peng-Lung, and Oh Sang Eun vs Chuan
Chih-Yuan. Lin Ju is a 24-year-old player from Fujian, China, with a
defensive playing style.
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- Zhang Yining easily beat Li Chun Li of New Zealand 4-0. She
most likely will play Boros in the quarters.
- Ai Fukuhara has a surprisingly easy 4-0 victory over Gao Jun
(USA). Fukuhara looked very comfortable playing against Gao's penholder
- Boros beat Kravchenko of Israel easily at 4-0. Boros got a
good draw in that she would not face any Asian player until the
- Niu Jianfeng had a huge struggle against Wosik, having
fallen behind 1-3 in games. All 3 games she lost were deuce games. She
won her 4 games at 5, 6, 2 and 6. After the match, Niu said that she is
now ready for any tough match coming up.
- The Japanese have played very well, and all three players
have advanced. Umemera had an impressive victory over Jie Schoppe at
- Wang Nan had a difficult victory over Kim Yun Mi (PRK), whom
she had never played before. She was behind 1-2 in games, and finally
won 4-2, but the last game was a very close one at 11-9.
- Adriana Zamfir of Romania, seeded 32nd in the tournament,
had a major upset win over fading Hong Kong star Lin Ling 4-2.
- Round of 16 match-ups: (1) Zhang vs Lau Sui Fei, (2) Boros
Pavlovich, (3) Tie Yana vs Kim Hyon Hui, (4) Kim Kyung Ah vs Fukuhara,
(5) Niu vs Kim Hyang Mi, (6) Fujinuma vs Zhang Xueling, (7) Li Jia Wei
vs Umemera and (8) Wang Nan vs Zamfir.