Ma Lin playing style and equipment

Ma Lin biography

Born on February 19th, 1980 in the Shenyang Liaoning Province of China.

Style: Plays Penholder Grip

He learned to play table tennis at the age of six and became a member of the provincial team in 1990. In 1994, he joined the Chinese national team. He is considered to have some of the best serves in the world. Ma Lin, born on February 19, 1980, in Shenhe District, Shenyang City, Liaoning Province, is an athlete of the Chinese men’s table tennis team and is currently the coach of the national table tennis team.

Ma Lin and his grip (2)
Ma Lin and his grip (2)

He started playing at the age of 7 in 1986 and entered the provincial sports school in 1990. In 1993, Ma Lin entered the Table Tennis School in Shantou, Guangdong. In 1994, at the Guangdong Provincial Games, Ma Lin won three gold medals in singles, doubles, and team table tennis for the Shantou team. Later, the 14-year-old Ma Lin won the first men’s singles championship in his life in the national youth competition. In that game, he was picked up by coach Cai Zhenhua and started his national team career.

In 1998, Ma Lin successively won the men’s doubles and men’s team championships at the Asian Championships, as well as the men’s singles championships at the Malaysia and Lebanon Opens. 1999 World Championships, Ma Long even grand slam Waldner, Samsonov, the world champion, won the men’s singles runner-up, mixed doubles champion.

Table Tennis Tricky Serve of Ma Lin: Ghost serve
Table Tennis Tricky Serve of Ma Lin: Ghost serve

2000 World Cup champion. In 2001, he won the World Table Tennis Championships Men’s Team Championship and the ITTF Tour Men’s Singles and Men’s Doubles Championship.  2004 Athens Olympic doubles champion (with Chen Qi ). 2006 Paris World Cup singles champion; 2008 Beijing Olympics men’s team champion and men’s singles champion. In the 2013 Paris World Table Tennis Championships, Ma Lin lost to Japanese player Kenta Matsudaira in the men’s singles competition and stopped in the second round.

Ma Lin’s retirement

On the evening of December 8, 2013, Beijing time, Olympic champion Ma Lin married his girlfriend Zhang Yaqing. At the wedding scene, Ma Lin officially announced her retirement. After retiring, Ma Lin returned to Guangdong and took over as the director of the Guangdong Table Tennis and Badminton Center and the head coach of Guangdong Table Tennis.

Ma Lin won four World Cup championships in his career and was the first person to win the World Cup men’s singles championship.

He is known as Mr. World Cup. He won a total of 18 world championships, ranking third in the history of national table tennis alongside Wang Hao and Deng Yaping, second only to Zhang Yining’s 19 and Wang Nan’s 24.

Learn footwork with coach Ma Lin
Learn footwork with coach Ma Lin

Ma Lin is the Chinese national coach

In March 2017, Ma Lin served as the coach of the national table tennis team. He is the personal coach of Chen Meng.

Ma Lin Forehand Short Return Soft Touch
Ma Lin Forehand Short Return Soft Touch

For the Tokyo Olympics 2020, his main task is to coach the Mixed Double (Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen). He has to get the Gold Medal for China.

This is the first Gold medal in the Tokyo Olympics 2020, so it’s very important. Unfortunately, Mima Ito and Jun Mizutani have played very well. China lost the Gold medal.

That night, coach Ma Lin can’t sleep.

Ma Lin main titles:

  • 1999 Men’s World Championship 2nd Place
  • 2002 ITTF Pro Tour Men’s Singles Title
  • 2004 Athens Olympic Games – 1st doubles (with Chen Qi)
  • 2005 Mens’ World Championship 2nd place
  • 2006 Singapore Open
  • 2006 Men’s World Cup
  • 2007 Men’s World Championship 2nd place
  • 2007 Volkswagen Grand Final Winner
  • 2008 Olympic Gold Medallist

Ma Lin’s playing style

Ma Lin’s style is the Penhold Grip. However, in addition to the traditional backhand push, Ma has also incorporated the reverse backhand, resulting in 3 different possible strokes to use during a game(forehand, backhand, reverse backhand). The reverse backhand is an innovative stroke to compromise for the penholder’s already weak backhand. It utilizes the underside of the blade, whereas only one side was originally used. He lost thrice in World Championship Finals but has won four World Cup trophies—in 2000, 2003, 2004, and 2006—more than any other player in history.

advance backhand flick by coach Ma Lin
advance backhand flick by coach Ma Lin

He is one of the best-known table tennis players in China and around the world. He was seeded first in this year’s World Championship in Zagreb, however, he lost in the final to his Chinese compatriot Wang Liqin, after leading 3–1 in games, and being 7–1 up, in the fifth game. At a post-match press conference, it was revealed that his maternal grandfather committed suicide before the tournament began.

Ma Lin has an amazing serve
Ma Lin has an amazing serve

Ma Lin’s special techniques

Ma Lin is a traditional penholder style, with a good feel, fast footwork, and careful calculation. No one can beat the top three best Chinese players in today’s table tennis. There are many changes in serve and a strong confusing nature, which can often create a chance to attack.

He can attack both straight lines and diagonal lines, especially sideways with a lot of sidespins. The forehand quick attack technique is proficient. Ma Lin’s iconic sideways rush is his most important means of scoring. Ma Lin’s backhand is characterized by push and block combined with backhand reverse penhold attack. When dealing with the opponent’s backhand, a side cut can effectively disrupt the opponent’s rhythm, and he can use his forehand rush to solve the battle at any time.

Ma Lin’s equipment

During his career, Ma Lin has been using Yasaka Ma Lin Extra Offensive-Penhold (check price 1/ check prize 2) as his blade. He uses Skyline 2 (check price 1/ check price 2) for his forehand and Bryce for his backhand.

Ma Lin and his grip (3)
Ma Lin and his grip, his forehand is the DHS TG 2 (Skyline 2)

He was the World No 2 Player ( Dec 2007), 2007 Men’s Pro-Tour Grand Final Winner, 2007 World Team Cup winner.

Ma Lin’s character

His teammate Wang Liqin has said about Ma Lin:

In the game, whether it is leading or falling behind, Ma Lin gives people a very difficult feeling and always gives you a very headache. His tactical changes and psychological quality are the strongest among the national team members. He is relying on these extraordinary abilities to get these results today. The two of us have been promoting and improving each other, and we have not relaxed our minds for a moment. It is precise because of a strong opponent that he can urge himself to keep moving forward.

Comment by coach Liu Guoliang:

Liu Guoliang coaching philosophy
Liu Guoliang coaching philosophy

Ma Lin is a very difficult player. Ma Lin is the kind of person who thinks a lot and wants the championship, but compared to Wang Hao, Ma Lin lacks the atmosphere. Ma Lin is a person who thinks very carefully, sometimes he may think more than our coaching staff. So the process of managing Ma Lin is very interesting. It feels like you are playing against him. To some extent, you need a coach to fight his wits and courage. It has to be a little level and some skills. Some words are for him, some words are to stimulate him.

Inducted into the Table Tennis Federation Hall of Fame

On the evening of August 27, 2011, during the Suzhou Open, ITTF President presented silver plates to Chinese athletes who were inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2010. Eight people including Kong Linghui, Guo Yue, Ma Lin, and Wang Hao were selected.

Ma Lin’s education

Before the 2013 National Games, Ma Lin had officially served as the party branch secretary and deputy director of the Guangdong Table Tennis Management Center. In order to make a better transition, Ma Lin studied for a master’s degree at Shanghai Sport University.

Ma Lin’s personal life

Ma Lin’s ex-wife is called Zhang Ningyi, a beautiful actress. The two parties met after a meal, and soon afterward they determined their relationship. In 2005, Ma Lin took Zhang Ningyi back to Shenyang to meet with her parents. Both parents were very satisfied with each other. In 2008, after the Beijing Olympics, Ma Lin took the bride home. On September 27, 2009, the media broke that Ma Lin and Zhang Ningyi had divorced.

Ma Lin’s ex-wife

At 2 pm on June 23, 2010, the divorce case of Ma Lin and Zhang Ningyi was heard in Beijing Daxing Court. Since the two parties, the plaintiff and the defendant, had a relatively large dispute over the property, the case could not be pronounced in court. Ma Lin finally agreed to distribute Yizhuang’s seven or eight million villas to Zhang Ningyi, and at the same time promised to give Zhang Ningyi several million yuan in deposits. Adding the two properties, Zhang Ningyi’s property would reach tens of millions.

Ma Lin ex-wife (2)
Ma Lin ex-wife (2)

On the evening of December 8, 2013, Beijing time, Olympic champion Ma Lin married his girlfriend Zhang Yaqing.

Ma Lin and his girl friend
Ma Lin and his girlfriend, Zhang Yaqing
Ma Lin and his ex-wife
Ma Lin and his girlfriend

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