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Consecutive wins, third in four weeks

Friday 14 August

Consecutive wins, third in four weeks

Success on the ITTF Pro Tour in 2005 in Brazil, one week later on Sunday 3rd July more success followed for Korea Republic’s Kim Kyungah. She won the women’s singles title at the TMS Chile Open in Santiago and thus not only secured consecutive titles, she made it three in four weeks.

On Sunday 12th June she had prevailed on home soil in Suncheon.

In Brazil, it had been a defensive player she overcame in the final, beating Viktoria Pavlovich; in Chile it was her doubles partner Kim Bok Rae (11-6, 11-8, 11-4, 11-6).

Now in Chile, the semi-finals of the women’s singles event saw four Korean players on duty, each match an attacker against a defender. In the first semi-final Moon Hyungjung faced Kim Bokrae; in the second it was Jun Hyekyung against Kim Kyungah.

Moon Hyun Jung had beaten India's Susmita Ray in the first round and Japan's Mikie Takahashi in round two before overcoming Hungary's Georgina Pota in the quarters, the latter having ousted top seed Hong Kong's Tie Yana one round earlier.

Meanwhile, Kim Bokrae had ousted Germany's Tanja Hain-Hofmann, Hong Kong's Zhang Rui and in the quarter­finals the third seed Viktoria        Pavlovich of Belarus.

In the lower half of the draw Kim Kyungah, the second seed, had accounted for Canada's Wennin Chiu in the opening round in straight games and then had defeated Japan's Reiko Hiura in five games in round two. It was an impressive performance against the Japanese player and the victory should not be underestimated; in the women's doubles event later in the same day Kim Bokrae and Kim Kyungah lost to Hiroko Fujii and Reiko Hiura in the opening round.

A potentially difficult hurdle negotiated, Kim Kyungah overcame Hong Kong's Song Ah Sim in the quarters, the player who had ended her progress at the Volkswagen 48th World Championships in Shanghai, to reserve a place in the semi­finals of a women's singles event on the ITTF Pro Tour for the ninth time in her career.

Meanwhile, her penultimate round opponent, Jun Hyekyung, had only once previously reached the last 16 of a women's singles event on the ITIF Pro Tour; that being the Croatian Open in January 2004. In Santiago, she had to play in the qualification group stage; she came through unscathed and faced the number four seed, Hong Kong's Lau Sui Fei in round one.

Jun Hyekyung won in five games; then in round two she defeated the Czech Republic's Renata Strbikova in a titanic struggle, winning 14-12 in the seventh game before accounting for Li Jao of the Netherlands in the quarters. In the semi­ finals Kim Bokrae proved to be the stronger player mentally against Moon Hyunjung whilst for Jun Hyekyung and Kim Kyungah the turning point came late in the third game. Jun Hye Kyung won the first, lost the second but led 10-8 in the third; Kim Kyung Ah won the next four points and from that point on was in control (11-13, 11-9, 12-10, 11-7, 11-6).

In the final Kim Kyungah dominated matters, her increasing ability to attack when the opportunity arises proving the key to success. Experience was also paramount. It was Kim Bok Rae's first ever women's singles final on the ITIF Pro Tour, her previous best being the quarter-finals, a round she had reached on five previous occasions.

Kim Kyungah prevailed in straight games (11-6, 11-8, 11-4, 11-6).

Notably, in Santiago the fact that it was Kim Kyungah's sixth career women's singles final on the ITIF Pro Tour. Additional to her success earlier in the year, Kim Kyungah had been the runner up in 2001 in Yokohama and in 2004 in St Petersburg; the winner in 2002 in Kobe and in 2004 in Zagreb.



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