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Men's and Women's Doubles Finals-SEAMASTER 2017 ITTF WORLD TOUR KOREA OPEN




Sunday 23rd April

Gold for Germany, success for Shan Xiaona and Petrissa Solja

Upholding German honour, Shan Xiaona and Petrissa Solja won the Women’s Doubles title at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Korea Open in Incheon on the afternoon of Sunday 23rd April.

The no.5 seeds, in the final they upset the pecking order by overcoming the Japanese duo of Hina Hayata and Mima Ito, the no.3 seeds in the final (11-4, 13-11, 3-11, 11-9).

Success and it was success for experience.

Experience counted not only in the fact that Hina Hayata and Mima Ito are both still only 16 years of age, whilst Petrissa Solja is 23 years old and Shan Xiaona celebrated her 30th birthday four years ago; also experienced counted in the length of time that the Germans have been partners on the international scene.

Shan Xiaona and Petrissa Solja have been in harness for over four years; for Hina Hayata and Mima Ito, their partnership is very much a new combination.

“It´s an unbelievable to win; in the semi-finals they beat Jeon Jihee and Yang Haeun. From the beginning we felt the game, we played very well on the first two balls, service and receive. We became used to the new ball from match to match; we couldn´t practise with it before. It was hard at the beginning but then we got used to it and we were able to achieve an amazing performance.” Petrissa Solja

Notably they were together at the recent Seamaster 2017 Asian Championships in Wuxi where they underlined the fact that they are a force with which to be reckoned. They reached the Women’s Doubles semi-finals eventually losing to the Chinese combination of Chen Ke and Wang Manyu (11-4, 12-10, 8-11, 12-10).

It was a brave effort in Wuxi, it was the very same in Incheon. After losing the close second game in the final, they established a 5-3 lead in the third and then never looked back. They won the next six points.

Meanwhile, in the fourth they showed great character; they trailed throughout, eventually levelling at 9-all before the German duo claimed the next two points to secure the title.

“It´s a pity we can´t play together at the Liebherr World Championships due to Shan Xiaona not being eligible; we have a good understanding and we could have made a good result. I am looking forward playing with Sabine Winter. We know each other from a long time and understanding very well; I must be careful not to cause a conflict between the double partners.” Petrissa Solja

Gold for Shan Xiaona and Petrissa Solja; gold for a third time as a partnerships in an ITTF World Tour Women’s Doubles event; in 2015 they won on home soil in Bremen and in Austria.

Meanwhile, for Petrissa Solja is her fourth career ITTF World Tour Women’s Doubles success; she won in 2012 in Bremen when partnering colleague Sabine Winter.

Jang Woojin and Jeong Sangeun upset odds to strike gold

A dramatic tension packed contest; against expectations, not seeded, the host nation pairing of Jang Woojin and Jeong Sangeun won the Men’s Doubles title at the Seamaster 2017 Korea Open in the city of Incheon on the early afternoon of Sunday 23rd April.

They beat the combination formed by Germany’s Patrick Franziska and Denmark’s Jonathan Groth, the no.3 seeds; in a contest, where they held the advantage after the first three games had been completed but in the decider had to perform a recovery of note. Victory by the very narrowest of margins was the outcome (11-9, 8-11, 12-10, 7-11, 12-10).

After levelling matters by securing the fourth game, Patrick Franziska and Jonathan Groth held the upper hand when the players changed ends in the deciding fifth game; they led 5-2.

Urged forward by the local supporters they levelled at 7-all; the next four points were shared before at 10-9 the Koreans held match point; it was saved but when the second chance came at 11-10 it was converted.

It was the first ever ITTF World Tour Men’s Doubles win for the Jang Woojin and Jeong Sangeun as a partnership, with once again Jang Woojin causing Patrick Franziska heartache.

Jang Woojin has now won three ITTF World Tour Men’s Doubles titles, both times with Korean colleagues. Last year in Belarus, he partnered Lim Jonghoon to success; the pair beating the Russian combination of Konstantin Chernov and Sadi Ismailov in the final.

However, one year earlier in Austria, Jang Woojin had won in harness with Lee Sangsu; the pair to suffer, Patrick Franziska and his German colleague, Bastian Steger.

Meanwhile, for Jeong Sangeun, success in Incheon means that he has two ITTF World Tour Men’s Doubles titles to his name. In 2015 in Hungary, partnering Lee Sangsu; the pair accounted for Russia’s Viachaslev Burov and Alexey Liventsov in the final.

Defeat for Patrick Franziska and Denmark’s Jonathan Groth; it is the first time when reaching an ITTF World Tour Men’s Doubles final that they have experienced defeat.

In 2016 they won in Austria beating China’s Fan Yinchi and Zhu Cheng in the final, having earlier in the year in Croatia, overcome Jeoung Youngsik and Lee Sangsu to reserve the top step of the podium,

On home soil Korea extracted revenge.