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Men's and Women's Singles Champions-SEAMASTER 2017 ITTF WORLD TOUR KOREA OPEN

SEAMASTER 2017 ITTF WORLD TOUR KOREA OPEN

Sunday 23rd April

Feng Tianwei regains milestone title

Winner in 2011 when the tournament was also staged in Incheon, her first ever career ITTF World Tour Women’s Singles title; Singapore’s Feng Tianwei once again emerged successful in the city that borders the country’s capital city of Seoul.

Six years ago it was the host nation’s powerful right handed pen-holder, Moon Hyunjung, who Feng Tianwei beat in the final; six years later on Sunday 23rd April at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Korea Open, she accounted for a player with a totally different style.

Occupying the top spot in the draw, she overcame the left handed, shake-hands grip fast attaching style of Japan’s Kasumi Ishikawa, the no.2 seed.

In a hard fought contest, Feng Tianwei prevailed in six games (12-10, 6-11, 11-9, 5-11, 11-8, 11-9), an engagement that was very much in the balance after the end of the fourth game; the Singaporean stout in character, resisted the challenge of her spirited Japanese adversary, to emerge successful.

Success for Feng Tianwei and it very much reversed recent trends in contests between the two players.

Notably in 2014 in the Women’s Team event at the 17th Asian Games, coincidentally staged in Incheon, Kasumi Ishikawa had emerged successful at the semi-final stage of the Women’s Team event. More recently in the bronze medal fixture in the Women’s Team competition at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, it had been success for Kasumi Ishikawa.

However, I doubt there are any great conclusions to be drawn, but of their now 15 meetings in World ranking events, of which ten have been won by Feng Tianwei, only once has Kasumi Ishikawa beaten Feng Tianwei when it has been a best of seven games contest.  At the GAC Group 2013 Asian Cup, she emerged successful in their quarter-final duel.

In Incheon it was the tenth time that Kasumi Ishikawa has appeared in an ITTF World Tour Women’s Singles final; she has now finished in runners up spot on four occasions; for Feng Tianwei, it was her 16th appearance in the gold medal contest; she has now been crowned champion on nine occasions

Generation game, seniority prevails, Timo Boll wins in Incheon

Seniority prevailed; in the battle of the German generations it was Timo Boll who emerged successful. In the final of the Men’s Singles event at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Korea Open in the city of Incheon, on the late afternoon of Sunday 24th April, the 36 year old asserted his authority.

He beat 24 year old colleague, Patrick Franziska in four straight games (11-8, 12-10, 12-10, 11-6) to arrest the title for the very first time in his career.

In 2002, he had come close, on that occasion when the tournament was staged in Gangneung, he had been beaten in the final by Austria’s Werner Schlager; now 15 years later, he made no mistake.

Renowned for the heavy amount of topspin imparted on the ball from the forehand immediately after the service, Timo Boll adjusted to the new plastic ball; he proved as irresistible as when the spherical object of a celluloid nature was used.

Notably in Incheon Timo Boll was competing in no less than his 27th ITTF World Tour Men’s Singles final, it is the 19th time he has emerged success and thus he moves ever closer to the now retired Chinese duo of Ma Lin and Wang Liqin on the all-time list.

Ma Lin, in fourth place, emerged successful on 20 occasions; Wang Liqin one more, he won 21 times. They trail Vladimir Samsonsov of Belarus who has 26 ITTF World Tour Men’s Singles titles to his name; three ahead of China’s Ma Long who has emerged 23 times the champion.

Success for Timo Boll and it is a return to winning ways; his most recent ITTF World Tour Men’s Singles title was seven years ago. In July 2010, he beat the host nation’s Jun Mizutani to secure the top prize in the city of Kobe.

Defeat for Patrick Franziska but two runners up spots, earlier the Men’s Doubles silver medallist in partnership with Denmark’s Jonathan Groth, he could reflect on a very successful tournament.

Furthermore, he started and finished the tournament shaking hands with the same player; four days earlier in Patrick Franziska’s opening contest in the qualification tournament, the advisor sitting courtside had been a certain Timo Boll.