201905 Preview of Ma Long Interview in CCTV Sports Feng Yun Summit

201905 Preview of Ma Long Interview in CCTV Sports Feng Yun Summit


Host: Did you feel the pain (on your knee) in the final? ML: No, I did not feel the pain when I was playing. However, I felt the pain after the match, or sometimes when I went to bed at night. Maybe I was so concentrated when I played. It was much better compared to the stage months before. Before, I could not bear it even you asked me to keep on. Host: Did the pain really stop you? Stop you from training and many tournaments? Was it a must to stop and fix your body? ML: Well, I felt the pain just prevented me from doing things previously. Many times I tried to keep on but it was too difficult. Now the pain is under control. Still some discomfort. I can bear. The pain was negligible in the match. Not feeling it. But in training, there were constant irritations. Less concentrated in training than in the match, I then felt it. Host: You were quite sure that the injury was a small disturbance. It was not threatening and could be cured in months with good care. Or you were not quite sure by then. ML: At the beginning, I thought the injury easy to deal with. The pain occurred before, and was settled with simple treatment and a break for 8-10 days. But after several doctor visits, 10-15 days passed, the situation did not get any better. I took treatments like cortisone injection and the situation did not get any better either. I started to be anxious. When it was Chinese New Year (early Feb), I did not take any day off from treatments and rehabilitation. The situation did not get any better, still. Then I was more than anxious. A little broken. Host: Broken? ML: Yes. Host: Did you ever tell others about that broken feeling or you keep it to yourself? ML: I did not tell anyone except for Coach Qin (Zhijian). Coach Qin was there with me every day even on Chinese New Year holidays. Every day. I had planned to go back to my hometown during the holidays. But then I thought the training facilities are in Beijing. I wanted to save every day to catch up what I missed previously. But I felt the situation (after treatment during Chinese New Year) was not better. (Liu Guoliang was practicing with Ma Long and Persson was practicing with Falck, on the other side of the training hall.) (It has been 32 years since last men’s singles final between a Chinese and a Swede at World Championships.) (Now it is a battle between students from two former World Champions.) Host: He (Liu Guoliang) brought his racket with him, which he rarely does. ML: Yes. Host: It is like his racket was fated for the final preparations. In the video clip, although he made many errors, he kept smiling and practicing with you. Is it part of the fortune? ML: We practiced for half an hour that day. He was still sharp on serve, serve receive, and first three strokes. His style is rare nowadays and made me more concentrated. He also played very fast. You will get full concentration when practicing with him. It helped me be motivated before the match. Also my opponent in the final plays short pips. There is no other short pips player around. Host: How did he encourage you or inspire you? ML: I think he is such a great speaker. He can help you reduce stress or cheer you up. In this tournament or other tournaments before, no matter you felt good or bad, you felt good after talking with him. He is able to talk you into changing your mindset and make you feel good. Anyways, he can help you. I believe in old days, he can be a great political commissar. After winning the semifinal, I had no experience to play with an European on the final day. There were pressure and difficulties. There was also an opportunity to win the third title. Many thoughts came to my mind. I couldn’t help thinking: What will happen if I win? What will happen if I lose? What will I feel if I win? What will I feel if I lose? Many thoughts. Host: It sounds like a newcomer, thinking of win and loss. ML: Yeah. Host: Anything special of you? ML: There was a battle inside me between being negative and being positive. How can you get rid of negativity? Because you will think about the consequences if you lose a final (against an European) in Europe and never get the third title. Many negative thoughts. On the other hand, there are positive thoughts. No matter how strong he (the opponent) is, he is not stronger than a player from Team China. Try to be positive. I had thought about everything to boost positivity. For example, my hotel room number was 132. Then I thought 132 stood for 1 Olympic Games, 3 World Championships and 2 World Cup (men’s singles titles). Whatever positive things, hints. In men’s doubles final, we wore blue shirts and our opponents wore red. We lost the toss to choose side. But then I thought when Xu Xin pair won mixed doubles, they wore blue, too. So think of everything to get a positive mindset. Host: Achieve a positive mindset

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