PLATONOV and SUZUKI clinched the title in Finland
The top seeded Pavel PLATONOV of Belarus beat Frenchman Jean GREGOIRE 4-0 in Finlandia Open men's singles final on Sunday afternoon. In women's singles the title was captured by Japan's Rika SUZUKI who beat compatriot Minami ANDO 4-1. The competition took place in Kisakallio Sports Institute in Lohja.
PLATONOV was finally quite overwhelming, losing altogether only four sets during the two days and seven matches. The final match was tough, but the 4-0 indicates that Belarus' player was all the time slightly, but clearly, better.
The host crowd followed closely Finland´s number one player Benedek OLAH, currently residing in Budapest. OLAH´s (WR 146) final position was at no. three. Friday's surprising loss against Denmark´s Tobias RASMUSSEN (WR 355) was crucial, because after that Olah won all his matches.
"Disappointed man's joy", mused Olah after the matches. However, he admitted that most often he was playing well during the weekend.
PLATONOV was happy for his victory and welcomed the fact that he did not met OLAH. A week ago, in Challenger Series final in Mittelbiberach, OLAH was better against him.
Head coach Mattias BERGKVIST estimates that OLAH is at the moment already capable to overcame players ranked at the positions between 50 and 100 in the World.
"Benedek started the competition poorly, but he improved his game during the tournament . His capacity is large and the dream to play in Rio Olympics is still alive. His backhand is world class level but he had improved also his forehand during the last couple of years significantly."
In women's singles Japanese Rika SUZUKI and Minami ANDO nabbed a double victory. The same duo took home also women's team competition. In women's singles Japan got five players among ten best, Russia three and Switzerland two.
From the host country players, only 15 years old Annika LUNDSTRÖM recorded a victory over the Swedish women's dominant champion Jennifer JONSSON.
"The match against Jennifer was the best in my career so far", rejoiced Lundström, whose final position was 24.
Progressive knock out system used in Finlandia Open and the Sports Institute facilities received a lot of nice feedback from the guests. Polish Leszek KUCHARSKI, working now for Azerbaijan, praised the 26th Finlandia Open profusely.
"Our players had a lot of games, which is the most important thing. The food is extremely good, better than on Pro Tour for example. Top class accommodation is so near that between the matches you have enough time to visit the room. The airport is nearby. If something could be asked, the training hall would be good."
1. Pavel PLATONOV Belarus
2. Jean GREGOIRE France 11-9, 11-8, 12-10, 12-10
3. Benedek OLAH Finland
1. Rika SUZUKI Japan
2. Minami ANDO Japan 11-6, 11-3, 11-6, 7-11, 11-9
3. Valentina SABITOVA Russia