Saive wins Qatar Open
Defeats CHUAN Chu-Yuan in Final
Sunday, March 10, 2002
ITTF Press Release
Doha, Qatar, 8 March 2002. Jean-Michel SAIVE has played very well for the last year and he also had good results – but not even he had ever imagined that he could win the strongest and best paid Pro Tour event ever.
Nevertheless the Belgian took the title and 34.000 US Dollars winning the final in men’s singles against the young CHUAN Chu-Yuan (TPE).
SAIVE showed from the very beginning that he did not intend to let this opportunity go away. Only the second game was close, but when Saive took it 12-10 and went to 2-0, CHUAN lost confident and the match was actually already decided. SAIVE won 4-0.
“The first two games were very important. I know that CHUAN is very fast so I had to slow down the game and frustrate him. I succeeded. When I look at the entry to this tournament I just can’t believe it. All the best were here – and I won”, says Jean-Michel SAIVE who now is nr. 1 on the Pro Tour Standings – again. He ended as nr. 1 last year and he is well on his way again.
CHUAN – in spite of the disappointment – can also look back on a good tournament. He reached a final for the first time, and on his way he overcame the World’s nr. 2 MA Lin and the former World Champion LIU Guoliang.
Doha, Qatar, 8 March 2002. The World Champion WANG Nan is still on top, and she will still be safe as nr. 1 on the World Ranking after beating compatriot and competitor ZHANG Yining (nr. 2 in the World) at the Qatar Open.
The final with the two best women in the World proved once more why China is so dominant. They both showed marvellous shots and aggressive game.
ZHANG Yining took the first game but that was all she got. WANG totally controlled the rest of the match to win 4-1 and in the last two games ZHANG only got 4 and 4.
WORLD CHAMPIONS BACK ON TOP
Doha, Qatar, 8 March 2002. At the Pro Tour Grand Finals in January the World Champions WANG Liqin and YAN Sen (CHN) stumbled already in the first round and instead the Koreans KIM Taek Soo/OH Sang Eun took the scene and won the Grand Finals.
On Friday the two pairs met in the final at the Qatar Open – and the World Champions were back on top. They won 4-1 and it was surprisingly easy for them.
Only in the second game KIM and OH had the chance to play their own game and they won it 11-4. The rest of the time though the World Champions were in control, and they never left any doubt.
WANG Liqin is the “killer” of the two Chinese but YAN Sen plays a very good double always keeping the ball on the table and creating difficult angles for the opponents with his left hand attacks.
The Chinese winners bring 9000 US dollars back home together with the title.
RUNNER-UP ONCE MORE
Doha, Qatar, 8 March 2002. They reached the final at the Qatar Open last year – and lost. This year once more they had so let somebody else walk away with the title. KIM Hyon Hui and KIM Hyang Mi (PRK) are great fighters but they couldn’t stop the two young Chinese NIU Jianfeng and LI Jia.
The Chinese won 4-1 after a thriller of a 4th game. None of the pairs could finish it off. Both had several game points, but it was even till 17-17 before finally the Chinese had the necessary luck to win the game and go to 3-1.
That was it. After that the North Koreans couldn’t resist anymore and LI/NIU took the last game 11-5 to take the title and 6000 US Dollars.
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