Brazilian Open: Schlager's happy ending

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Austrians will have to come back

Sao Paulo, Brazil, 14 July 2002. Karl JINDRAK and Werner SCHLAGER (AUT) will have to come back to Brazil. They won the Men’s Doubles at the Brazil Open last year, and they came back to defend the title this year – now the will have to defend it once more.

On Sunday they won the Men’s Doubles final against Zoltan FEJER-KONNERTH/Torben WOSIK (GER). The Austrians started out very strongly and the Germans actually never got into the match before it was over - 4-0.

“We played excellently from the very beginning, and we managed to keep the Germans away from their game - yes it could be nice to come back and defend the title once more”, says Karl JINDRAK.

In Women’s Doubles SUK Eun Mi/LEE Eun Sil (KOR) took the title overcoming Olga NEMES (GER)/HAN Kwang Sun (KOR) who normally don’t play together. That was to be seen in the final. SUK and LEE were simply to strong as a pair and they won 4-1.

Umemura once more

Sao Paulo, Brazil, 14 July 2002. It looked like an easy Sunday walk for Aya UMEMURA (JPN) in the Women’s Singles final against Nicole STRUSE (GER).

UMEMURA was totally in control and had 3-0 and 2 match points in the 4th. STRUSE however fought back, survived the match points and took the game.
STRUSE’s problem in the first games was that the faster she played the faster she got the ball back, UMEMURA was really pushing it and she played very well. When STRUSE started to vary speed and spin the match got more even, and STRUSE fought all the way back to 3-3.

In the 7th decisive game UMEMURA however suddenly was in control again. Like in the first games she was playing faster than STRUSE would like her to and the Japanese went to 7-1. Once more STRUSE tried to fight back, but she seemed to have run out of steam. She never got really close, and UMEMURA took the game and the title.

Aya UMEMURA came out of nowhere to win the Brazilian title last year, but defending it on Sunday she has proved that last years success was not a one time experience.

Difficult start, happy ending

Sao Paulo, Brazil, 14 July 2002. What is a champion made of? Among other things the ability to win also when he doesn’t play at his best. Werner SCHLAGER is such a player. In the early rounds of men’s singles at the Brazil Open he was in deep troubles – but he survived.

On Sunday when he won the final and the Brazil title he was back on top, playing the fast moving Korean RYU Seung Min with the right strategy and finishing the match before RYU found his rhythm.
SCHLAGER lost the first game, but from then on he controlled RYU. Thanks to good service returns he kept RYU away and the Korean got more and more frustrated.

“It is true that I did not play well early in this tournament, but in the final everything went very well. How to play a fast player like RYU? I just tried to keep the ball on the table until he made mistakes”.

Now SCHLAGER can go home after two fantastic weeks. He reached the semi-finals at the US Open and in Brazil he took the Singles title and the Doubles title with compatriot Karl JINDRAK.

“This is fantastic for me, I could never dream of winning both titles – I’ll have to come back and defend them next year”

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