GAC GROUP 2014 ITTF WORLD TOUR GRAND FINALS
SATURDAY 13TH DECEMBER
It was another day packed with exciting rallies, tough battles and new champions crowned at the GAC Group 2014 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals in Bangkok on Saturday 13th December.
Gold medallists in the Men’s and Women’s Doubles events were decided.
Japan’s 14 year old sensations Miu Hirano and Mima Ito overcame the more experienced Singaporean partnership Feng Tianwei and Yu Mengyu in the penultimate round, before clinching the title at the final expense of Poland’s Katarzyna Grzybowska and Natalia Partyka.
The win was a re-enactment of the German Open final earlier in the year when Miu Hirano and Mima Ito had won in straight games; in Bangkok they repeated the feat, they recorded a four nil win.
A stunning success, not only did they become the youngest ever winners at the Grand Finals, they became the first from Japan to win the Women’s Doubles title
A straight games win for Miu Hirano and Mima Ito; for Korea’s Cho Eonrae and Seo Hyundeok, securing the Men’s Doubles title was a much closer affair. They trailed 8-4 in the deciding game against Japan’s Kenta Matsudaira and Koki Niwa before winning seven of the next eight points to secure victory.
Earlier at the semi-final stage Cho Eonrae and Seo Hyudeok had beaten Russia’s Alexey Liventsov and Mikhail Paikov; Kenta Matsudaira and Koki Niwa had ousted Hong Kong’s top seeded pairing of Tang Peng and Wong Chun Ting
The winners of the Men’s and Women’s Doubles titles decided; the semi-finalists in the Men’s and Women’s Singles were also determined.
In the top half of the draw in the Women’s Singles event it was mixed fortunes for Singapore, in the same section of the Men’s Singles, the same scenario for Japan.
Korea’s Seo Hyowon used her delightful defensive skills to good effect to beat Singapore’s Feng Tianwei, the top seed in the Women’s Singles event in five games, before colleague Yu Mengyu maintained her outstanding form of one day earlier to end the hopes of Japan’s Sayaka Hirano.
Meanwhile at the quarter-final stage of the Men’s Singles event Jun Mizutani, the top seed, accounted for Germany’s Steffen Mengel but for compatriot Koki Niwa it was defeat against a man in form.
Marcos Freitas halted the aspirations of Koki Niwa in six games with a stunning array of top spin strokes away from the table; the point to secure victory drawing gasps of disbelief as the Portuguese star turned top spin defence into top spin attack to secure victory.
Breath taking action and it continued in the evening session of play as the quarter-finals in both the Men’s and Women’s Singles events came to a close.
In the Women’s Singles, Hungary’s Georgina Pota replicated the form of two months earlier when, against the odds, she had reached the semi-finals of the Women’s World Cup. In Bangkok she beat Portugal’s Yu Fu for the very first time in her career, to reserve her penultimate round place.
A scintillating performance but no-one could match Kasumi Ishikawa; at the recent Russian Open she had beaten Japanese compatriot, Ai Fukuhara, in a dramatic seven games Women’s Singles final, succeeding by the minimal margin. In Bangkok, they met again, there was no drama. Kasumi Ishikawa won in four straight games.
Outstanding performances from Georgina Pota and Kasumi Ishikawa; it was the same in the Men’s Singles event from Hong Kong’s Tang Peng and Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov.
Tang Peng caused an upset by beating Vladimir Samsonov of Belarus; Dimitrij Ovtcharov won a thriller against Chinese Taipei’s Chuang Chih-Yuan. He recovered from 6-8 down in the deciding seventh game to win 11-9 and bring the day to a climatic end.
At the semi-final stage of the Women’s Singles event Seo Hyowon meets Yu Mengyu, Georgina Pota opposes Kasumi Ishikawa; for the men it is Jun Mizutani versus Marcos Freitas, Tang Peng against Dimitrij Ovtcharov.
Mouth-watering, don’t miss!