|Xu Xin, champion in China|
Image Courtesy of ITTF
The upsets came pouring in from the word go, Japan's Kenta Matsudaira was eliminated very early on in the draw, his asbsence of late at world tour events proving costly. Germany's Patrick Franziska took out Ryu Seung Min in a fantastic battle, Ryu's elimination a breath of fresh air for China fans as he has been known to cause problems for them in the past. Ma Long dealt vengeance to Koki Niwa with a 4-2 victory and also left no questions unanswered with a straight sets win over Wang Liqin.
China were the next ones to fall with some shock results, the 5 set victory of Oh Sang Eun over Ma Lin was one of those. Oh Sang Eun of course a solid player, but results-wise nothing spectacular in the past few years really in terms of titles or big wins. The 4-1 win is another obstacle in Ma Lin's long journey to restore his form after 2011. Wang Hao's elimination was quite possibly the biggest shocker of the tournament. Hong Kong's Tianyi Jiang was able to take out Wang in 7 sets with the thinnest of margins, nevertheless, a fantastic result for Hong Kong and also a warning sign for China's Olympic Hopes.
Xu Xin was the name to be made in this tournament though. Beating Zhang Jike, current World Champion and World Cup winner, in the semifinals, he continued on to the final. Ma Long, World Number 1, was the player he would meet. With a lot of support and effort and momentum which seemed unstoppable, Xu Xin took the match against Ma Long 4-2 and the China Open 2012 title. Any critics of Xu Xin quickly silenced with a display of some of his finest table tennis to date.