Title for Matilda EKHOLM and Georgina POTAPhoto: ITTF
ITTF World Tour 2016 Czech open
Japan's Yuto MURAMATSU clinched two titles at the ITTF World Tour 2016 Czech open. Yuto MURAMATSU went into the final day’s action already with a trophy to his name following his Under 21 success, but he wasn’t ready to stop there; he has won his first Men’s Singles title on the World Tour. In the final MURAMATCU succeeded against Stephane OUAICHE (11-9, 11-5, 11-7, 11-4). In the previous round MURAMATSU beat Korea Republic’s Cho Seungmin, while MURAMATSU’S opponent in the final Stephane OUAICHE of France recovered from 2-3 down to defeat Serbia's Aleksandar KARAKASEVIC 4-3.
“It is absolutely great that I was able to win the Under 21 and also men’s tournament. For me it is the biggest victory in my life. I feel very tired because it was a very hard and good tournament," said Muramatsu.
YANG Xiaoxin has won Monaco's second ever ITTF World Tour trophy, subsequently adding another title to her name, being the microstate's only previous winner on the tour. Her opponent in the final was Maki SHIOMI, as Japan was represented in a Women's Singles final for the 56th time since the World Tour began back in 1996 (11-9, 11-5, 12-10, 11-6).
“I feel very happy because on Monday I came back from China where I was on holiday with my family and I still feel tired. I don’t believe that I will be able to win this tournament. Of course it was very hard (playing three Japanese competitors in the draw) and the matches were the most difficult in whole tournament. Especially the matches against Morizono (last 16) and Mori (quarter-finals)” said YANG Xiaoxin.
CHO Eonrae (30) and PARK Jeongwoo (19) faced KIM Minhyeok and PARK Ganghyeon (both 20) in an all-Korean final, guaranteeing title number 32 for their country in the Men’s Doubles category. Cho and Park Jeongwoo finished off the match (11-8, 11-6, 14-12) to win their maiden World Tour Men’s Doubles crown as a partnership.
Matilda EKHOLM (Sweden) and Georgina POTA (Hungary) beat the Russian duo of Maria DOLGIKH and Polina MIKHAILOVA in a thrilling final (9-11, 3-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-7). DOLGIKH and MIKHAILOVA of Russia were understandably considered favourites heading into the match, having picked up the Women’s Doubles title at the 2016 Slovenia Open (June) and the runners-up award at last week’s World Tour event in Bulgaria.
EKHOLM and POTA were no strangers to doubles finals themselves with both players having featured in previous finals with other players. However, the 2016 Czech Open was the first occasion that the partnership EKHOLM and POTA had reached a final and they looked in imperious form, registering 3-0 victories across all three of the previous round matches.