Ma swings to victory on penultimate day in Macao

23 April 2023

Spectators at Tap Seac Multisport Pavilion erupted into wild applause on Saturday evening as Ma Long booked his ticket to the WTT Champions Macao 2023 Men’s Singles final with an eye-catching 4-1 victory over Alexis Lebrun (11-8, 7-11, 11-5, 11-8, 11-8).

Heading to Macao off the back of a shock round of 16 exit at WTT Champions Xinxiang 2023, 4th seed Ma knew a serious challenge stood between him and a place in the Macao final with 19-year-old star Lebrun approaching the semifinal with supreme confidence.

The surprise package of the week, Lebrun sent shockwaves across the world on Friday with his stunning win over World No.1 Fan Zhendong, and was ready to add another Chinese superstar to his list of upsets in Macao.

As expected, Ma launched out of the starting blocks at a ferocious pace as he looked to lay down the marker against the French prodigy, but Lebrun wasn’t at all overwhelmed by the experience, settling into the contest nicely to make his presence felt.


Leaving nothing up to chance, both players looked to assert their authority in the match, returning each other’s ruthless attack with heavy interest to raise the stakes in an electric showdown.

Locked at one game apiece, Ma and Lebrun looked evenly matched two games into the proceedings, but in a best of seven games contest it all comes down to who can keep up the intensity the longest, and with many more years of experience at this level, the advantage was Ma’s. 

Searching for his first international singles title since the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Ma looked the more hungry for success, tapping into the energy of the crowd to propel himself into a 2-1 game lead.

Continuing to believe right to the end, Lebrun had chances to work his way back into the contest, leading 8-4 in game four and 8-6 in game five, but he couldn’t capitalise either situation as Ma rallied to win both games, putting any doubts to rest.


"It was the first time for us to play, so we were not very familiar with each other. I think it is important to have the belief on the court and to have more options when things are difficult, which I think I did well today. The opponent's style of play is more fierce, and it changes a lot." Ma Long

The result sees Ma Long reach his first-ever WTT Champions final, setting up a blockbuster clash with 2nd seed Wang Chuqin on Sunday evening.

Check out the complete results from Day 6 here.