Brazilian Open: Brazilian youth champion

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Brazilian youth champion

Sao Paulo, Brazil, 13 July 2002. Young Brazilian Thiago MONTEIRO took advantage of playing in front of his home crowd to win the U21 Men’s Singles at the Brazilian Open.

In the final MONTEIRO beat the Japanese Ryusuke SAKAMOTO, one of the World’s best juniors.
The match was close till 2-2, but then MONTEIRO got in control and he took the 5th decisive game 11-3.

“It was really important for me after losing in the first round of the Pro Tour on Friday. Yesterday against Torben WOSIK I really wanted to do well, but in some way I was not in the match. Today against SAKAMOTO everything was much better for me. I only had problems with his service in the beginning but at the end I felt quite self confident, says the Brazilian U21 Champion.

Semi-finals without top seeds

Sao Paulo, Brazil 13 July 2002. Both top seeds are out of Women’s Singles at the Brazil Open, and the road might now be open for Aya UMEMURA (JPN) to defend last years title.

1st seed RYU Ji Hae (KOR) lost already in the early rounds and on Saturday 2nd seed Korean KIM Moo Kyo lost her quarter final against Ai FUJINUMA.
FUJINUMA came out strongly and she took the lead 3-0 dominating the game close to the table. FUJINUMA also had the chance to take the 4th game. It was very close, but from 9-9 KIM survived, and in the next game it looked like everything could turn around – KIM took it easily to go to 2-3.

However FUJINUMA got on the road again and she won the match 4-2 to go to the semi-finals against Nicole STRUSE (GER).

The other semi-final will be a matter between defending champion Aya UMEMURA and Korean SUK Eun Mi.

Keinath chocked Oh Sang Eun

Sao Paulo, Brazil, 13 July 2002. Young German Thomas KEINATH is not part of the German national team, but in spite of that he is travelling to almost all ITTF Pro Tours. Now he is getting the reward.

At the US Open last week he reached the quarter finals and on Saturday, at the Brazil Open, he advanced to the semi-finals beating the top Korean and 2nd seed OH Sang Eung.

Already on Friday KEINATH made an impressive performance against the strong Austrian defensive player CHEN Weixing, and again against OH he took all the risks necessary, with sharp services and courageous attacks.

In the first game everything looked “normal” – OH took it 11-3. Then however KEINATH started his offensive raid, and he took 3 games in a row. Perhaps he then started to realize what he was doing and who he was about to beat, any case he hesitated and OH took the next game easily.

In the 6th game KEINATH was on the road again, not stepping backwards even once, and with a lucky net ball to give him his first match point at 10-8 he took the game and the match.

In the semi-finals he will meet another Korean RYU Seung Min, who is nr. 19 in the World. No matter what happens in that match Thomas KEINATH for sure will take a big step forward from his position as nr. 94 on the World Ranking.

Struse is back

Sao Paulo, Brazil, 13 July 2002. The European Champion in Women’s Singles from 1996, Nicole STRUSE (GER) has not been much on the international scene during the last few years. At the Brazil Open she is back, and on Saturday she fought her way through to the final.

In the semi-final STRUSE met Ai FUJINUMA who sent home the 2nd seed KIM Moo Kyo (KOR) earlier on Saturday, and in the first two games it looked like FUJINUMA was going to continue her stroll.

The faster the better for FUJINUMA – and STRUSE played too fast. Changing strategy in the 3rd game STRUSE however suddenly was in control. Opening her attacks she did not push too much, instead she waited for FUJINUMA to make mistakes.

In the other semi-final Aya UMEMURA (JPN) overcame Korean SUK Eun Mi which means that UMEMURA on Sunday has the chance to defend her Brazilian title from last year.

End of road for youngsters

Sao Paulo, Brazil, 13 July 2002. The two new and young “faces” in the semi-finals in Men’s Singles will not be seen on Sunday in the final at the Brazil Open.

Dane Michael MAZE played a pretty good match against top seed Werner SCHLAGER (AUT) but the Dane was not constant enough to beat the Austrian. Often MAZE played beautiful strokes – but he wasn’t prepared to the fact that SCHLAGER returns even beautiful strokes.
SCHLAGER went to 3-1 but MAZE extended the match taking the 5th game. MAZE also had his chances to even to 3-3, but at crucial points SCHLAGER is at his best and he took the match 4-2.

Young German Thomas KEINATH couldn’t cope with the speed of RYU Seung Min (KOR) in the other semi-final. KEINATH won a single game but he never really came close to the Korean. Anyway starting his trip to the Americas as nr. 94 in the World the German can go home proud after reaching the quarters at the US Open and the semi-finals here in Brazil.

Busy Sunday for Schlager

Sao Paulo, Brazil, 13 July 2002. Werner SCHLAGER (AUT) will be in two finals at the Brazil Open on Sunday. Earlier on Saturday he advanced to the final in Men’s Singles – later he also made it to the final match in Men’s Doubles together with compatriot Karl JINDRAK.

The two Austrians are defending champions from last year and in the semi-final against OH Sang Eun (KOR)/Alexei SMIRNOV (RUS) they never left any doubt winning 4-1.
In the final they will face the Germans Zoltan FEJER-KONNERTH/Torben WOSIK. Zoltan FEJER-KONNERTH is European Champion with Timo BOLL, but WOSIK is a left hander like BOLL, and the two Germans play very well together. In the semi-final they beat the Danes Michael MAZE/Martin MONRAD.

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