Korea Open: Best Chinese are out

Korea Open Review

ITTF Press Releases

Top seeds still on the road

Lausanne, 6 September 2002. The seeding and the draw in Men’s Singles at the Korea Open has “predicted” to semi-finals Europe vs Asia – and the first round on Friday did not disturb that picture.

1st seed Werner SCHLAGER (AUT is still on the road to the semi-final against CHIANG Peng-Lung (TPW) and 2nd seed Timo BOLL (GER) is still on the road to the encounter with the local hero, defending champion KIM Taek-Soo.

6 out of 14 Koreans in the main draw came out as losers – among them KIM Jung Hoon who gave CHEUNG Yuk (HKG) a tough fight before he surrendered 4-2.

BOLL was the only one to have a bit of trouble with his opponent Maksim SHMYRYEV (RUS) winning 4-2 after some really close games. The 3 other top seeds won easily.

The 3 other top Koreans, OH Sang Eun, RYU Seung Min and LEE Chul Seung are also still in.

Korean KIM Gun Hwan made the home crowd go crazy at last years Korea Open when he reached the quarter finals by beating among others the top Chinese MA Lin. This year the expectations were a little bit higher, and KIM Gun Hwan couldn’t stand the pressure. He lost 4-3 in the first round to Dane Finn TUGWELL.

Disappointment for Koreans

Lausanne, 6 September 2002. The two best Koreans are out of the Men’s Singles at the Korean Open. Despite heavy support from the home crowd both KIM Taek-Soo and OH Sang Eun lost their second round matches.

Though being up 3-1 KIM Taek-Soo could not finish the match against KO Lai Chak (HKG) and instead KO took the next 3 games to win the match.

Things were different – and even worse – with OH Sang Eun. He lost 4-0 to Chinese TANG Feng. OH got close only in the 2nd game which he lost 12-10. TANG Feng is not even on the World Ranking.
Now nr. 3 and 4, RYU Seung Min and LEE Chul Seung have to defend the Korean honour. In the next round LEE will meet CHEUNG Yuk (HKG) while RYU will face Danny HEISTER (NED).

Young Swede Jens LUNDQVIST made a break through by reaching the quarter finals at the China Open earlier this year. At that occasion he beat KIM Taek Soo (KOR) and CHIANG Peng-Lung (TPE).

Now LUNDQVIST meets the top Chinese Taipei player again. LUNDQVIST already created the first upset by beating French Christophe Legout in the 2nd round. Now nr. 11 in the World CHIANG Peng-Lung is – once more – waiting at the other end of the table.

Koreans ready to recover

Lausanne, 6 September 2002. The disappointment in Men’s Singles might be replaced by joy in Men’s Doubles. After losing out in the singles Koreans KIM Taek-Soo and OH Sang Eun showed no mercy in Men’s Doubles against the French pair Olivier BRICE/Dorian QUENTEL.

The Koreans won easily 4-1 and at the same time they could see that some of their worst competitors disappeared. 2nd seeded pair CHEUNG Yuk/LEUNG Chu Yan (HKG) lost surprisingly to another Korean pair CHOI Hyun Jin/Yoon Jae Young.
There are other pairs to respect however - both Austrians Karl JINDRAK/Werner SCHLAGER and CHIANG Peng-Lung/CHANG Yen-Shu (TPE) advanced to the quarter finals.

The French pair Damien ELOI/Christophe LEGOUT is also still in. They overcame Philippe SAIVE/Martin BRATANOV (BEL) 4-1.

In Women’s Doubles top seeds KIM Moo Kyo/RYU Ji-Hae (KOR) passed a serious obstacle beating the Hong Kong pair TIE Yana/ZHANG Rui. In the quarter finals they will face another Hong Kong pair LIN Ling/SONG Ah Sim.

Best Chinese are out

Lausanne, 6 September 2002. Two prominent Chinese left the Women’s Singles already after 1st round.

Nr. 20 in the World BAI Yang had to surrender to SONG Ah Sim (HKG) who is only nr. 60 on the World Ranking. SONG was down 2-1 but she won three games in a row to take the match.

GUO Yan (CHN) who is nr. 13 on the World Ranking also stumbled. She lost 4-1 to ZHANG Rui (HKG) without doing much resistant.
To the disappointment of the home crowd the Korean nr. 2 KIM Moo Kyo also had to leave. She lost to KWOK Fong Fong (HKG). The score board says 4-0 but it wasn’t that easy. All four games went to the very end with KWOK winning 12-10, 11-9, 11-8, 12-10.

Ai FUKUHARA (JPN) is considered the most talented junior player outside China, but against the heavy top spin from top seed Tamara BOROS (CRO) she is still too young and small. BOROS beat her 4-0 and will now face SONG Ah Sim (HKG).

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