GAC GROUP 2014 ITTF WORLD TOUR GRAND FINAL
SUNDAY 14TH DECEMBER
Day of Decision Titles for Jun Mizutani and Kasumi Ishikawa
The concluding day in Bangkok, Sunday 14th December was the day of decision at the US$ 1,000,000 GAC Group 2014 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals.
At the semi-final stage of the Men’s Singles event matters went as status and previous results predicted; the top two seeds emerged successful.
Japan’s Jun Mizutani, the top seed, had played Portugal’s Marcos Freitas on four previous occasions in World Ranking events; he had won all four, in Bangkok he made it five.
Likewise Dimitrij Ovtcharov after his nail-biting success one day earlier against Chinese Taipei’s Chuang Chih-Yuan at the quarter-final stage, he entered his contest against Hong Kong’s Tang Peng full of confidence.
The two had met on six previous occasions, Dimitrij Ovtcharov had lost just once; that was eight years ago in 2006 in Kuwait when the German was only 17 years old.
Incisive and totally focused, Dimitrij Ovtcharov recorded a straight games win.
However, in the Women’s Singles semi-finals there was somewhat of a surprise.
Korea’s Seo Hyowon and Singapore’s Yu Mengyu had met earlier in the year on two occasions; both contests had been won by Yu Mengyu. In Bangkok Seo Hyowon turned the tables she won in six games.
The Korean dancing queen was impressive, so was Japan’s Kasumi Ishikawa; two months earlier in Linz in the bronze medal match at the Women’s World Cup, she had beaten Hungary’s Georgina Pota in a tense seven games duel.
Two months later in Bangkok there was no charity, a straight games win was the order of the day.
A comprehensive semi-final win, it was the same in the final against Seo Hyowon. After trailing 7-2 in the opening game, Kasumi Ishikawa gave a faultless display. She won nine points in a row to secure the game before winning the first four of next; she never looked back, a straight games win was recorded.
Impressive to say the least, in the whole tournament she dropped just one game; that being her very first in the opening round against colleague Yuka Ishigaki. From that point onwards it was 16 games without blemish.
Success for Kasumi Ishikawa was followed by success for Jun Mizutani, in tense seven games duel, he accounted for Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov to repeat the efforts of four years earlier when he had won in Seoul.
Only this time he left slightly better off; a cheque for US$100,000!