ITTF Qatar Open: Ma Long claims comeback win, Ding Ning storms into semis
Chen Rong
Reigning Olympic and world champion Ma Long made a strong comeback and marched into the quarterfinals of the Seamaster 2019 International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Tour Platinum Qatar Open after defeating German star Timo Boll 4-0 in the men's singles round of 16 on Friday in Doha.
Both Ma and Boll are top players in the sport. They once partnered as a legendary pair at the Qoros 2015 World Table Tennis Championships men's doubles event in Suzhou, east China's Jiangsu Province. Two years later in Boll's home country Germany, they partnered again at the Liebherr 2017 World Championships that were held in Düsseldor in May.
The 30-year-old Chinese has been suffering from a left knee injury since last August, which led him to withdraw from a series of matches, including the ITTF World Tour Opens in the Czech Republic, Sweden and Austria.
Ma will meet Rio Olympic bronze medalist Jun Mizutani of Japan in the quarterfinals.
Also in the men's singles, Chinese Xu Xin and Lin Gaoyun both powered into the quarterfinals after they won 4-2 against Japanese Yuya Oshima and 4-1 against Jang Woojin of South Korea, respectively. 
However, China's Liang Jinkun failed to enter the quarterfinals as he had a 0-4 loss against Japanese Tomokazu Harimoto in the round of 16.
In the later women's singles matches, Chinese Ding Ning powered into the semifinals after defeating Mima Ito of Japan 4-0.
Meanwhile, China's Wang Manyu won 4-1 against Singapore opponent Feng Tianwei and also stormed into the semifinals.
In the women's doubles, two Chinese pairs both won in the semifinals as Ding Ning and Wang Yidi won 3-0 against Japanese pair Hina Hayata and Mima Ito in match one, and Wang Manyu and Sun Yingsha had a 3-2 victory over another Japanese team Honoka Hashimoto and Hitomi Sato in match two.