It will be two all-China affairs in the finals of the Olympics table tennis singles events after Ma Long dug deep to dispatch the final non-Chinese player left at Tokyo 2020 . World No 2 Ma – considered the greatest player of all time – defeated Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov 4-3 in a barnburner of a semi-final on Thursday afternoon, winning the last game 11-9, having twice thrown away leads of 2-0 and 3-2. Three-time Olympic gold medallist and reigning champion Ma, 32, had cruised through the tournament up to this point, taking 4-1 victories against India’s Kamal Achanta 4-1, France’s Simon Gauzy 4-1 and then Egypt’s Omar Assar. He will now face Fan Zhendong, who also won a 4-3 thriller against Taiwan’s world No 3 Lin Yun-ju to seal his place in the final. “More than playing seven games, I’m proud to win this match. Lin was exceptional,” Fan said. “The amount of pressure he put on me was very great. I made some mistakes but overall I did well. I was resolute and I held my ground.” “When I was leading he played more freely, without pressure,” Fan added. “I made some mistakes, particularly after going 2-0 up. “So many games went to 9-9, 10-10, but I never softened, I kept thinking of ways. In the last game I was down but I kept thinking of solutions. I showed my fighting spirit today.” On the women’s side it has been a similar story, with China’s Chen Meng to take on Sun Yingsha on Thursday night. World No 1 Chen beat Singapore’s Yu Mengyu while Sun swept aside second-ranked home hero Mima Ito 4-0. Chen has enjoyed an impressive run to the final, beating Rachel Moret of Switzerland (4-1), Zhang Mo of Canada (4-1) and Doo Hoi-kem of Hong Kong (4-2). Sun dispatched Yang Xiaoxin (4-0), Chen Szu-yu of Taiwan (4-0) and Germany’s Han Ying.