Ma Claims Men’s Singles Title to Remember
by Joshua Dyke
Singles – Jinbao Ma (USA) during the men’s singles championship at the 2023 US Open Table Tennis Championships – Ontario Convention Center – Ontario, CA. Dec. 20, 2023.
The 2023 US Open Table Tennis Championships in Ontario, California saw Jinbao Ma's men's singles victory over Japan's Masaki Takami in a championship final that left everyone in attendance cheering for more.
The showdown between Ma and Takami truly began in the earlier rounds of men’s singles. Ma battled back from a 0-3 deficit against three-time US Open champion and Canadian Olympian Eugene Wang in the quarterfinals.
Ma was then up against Korean chopper Seungjun Lee in the semifinals, and it was nothing short of a crowd-pleaser. It was shot after shot, in rallies that seemed to go on forever. Jinbao Ma finished one of the intense rallies by striking the ball so hard that it hit the net, rolled up, and froze at the top. After a moment had passed, the ball dropped in for a point for Ma, sparking an uproar from the crowd.
Masaki Takami gave off the impression of being the kind of player who stayed around in close games to grab the upper hand before his opponents realized. Takami first displayed this attribute during his round of 16 victory over the defending men’s singles champion, Kou Lei.
When Jinbao Ma and Masaki Takami finally faced off in the highly anticipated finals match, Ma's play was simply phenomenal. Only for a moment, it appeared as though Takami was gaining the advantage in the match when Ma lost the third game.
Ma continued his dominance by changing his strategy to stay ahead of his opponent and winning points towards the body rather than the corners of the table. Ma finished the main event with a 4-1 victory over Takami, capping his incredible championship triumph.
For Jinbao Ma, the fifth time was the charm competing at the 2023 US Open Championships. He proved what perseverance could accomplish by winning the men's singles title. Ma's performance throughout his matches left us with a championship title to remember as he showcased his adaptability and determination, ultimately securing a well-deserved victory.