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Korea Open: Schlager wins again

Korea Open Review

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Tie Yana again

Lausanne, 8 September 2002. The hottest name in women’s table tennis right now is without any doubt TIE Yana (HKG). She made an impressive performance at the Women’s World Cup in Singapore last week where she reached the semi-finals – now she is in the final of the Korean Open after beating several players from the World’s top 10.

TIE Yana herself will actually make a big step towards top 10 if she can also win the Korean title.

In the semi-final the victim was the Korean RYU Ji-Hae, who even though she was having the support of the home crowd, could not stand the pressure from the fast game of TIE Yana. RYU got one single game – and that was it.

LIN Ling (HKG) had the chance to make it a Hong Kong final, but she missed it. She also only got one single game in the other semi-final against the young Chinese JIANG Huajun.


A European final

Lausanne, 8 September 2002. A European Singles final at a Pro Tour event in Asia – it doesn’t happen often but it will be the case in Men’s Singles at the Korea Open.
The two top seeds Werner SCHLAGER (AUT) and Timo BOLL (GER) both made their way through to the final.

SCHLAGER was up against the local hero RYU Seung Min. When they met in the final at the Brazilian Open in July SCHLAGER won easily – that was also the case on Sunday.
RYU only got 5, 4 and 3 points in the first 3 games!!!

Then finally RYU started to perform and he won the next 11-7. SCHLAGER however is very experienced, and he did not really let RYU into the match. The Austrian took the 5th game 11-9 to win 4-1.

KO Lai Chak (HKG) reached the semi-finals by beating several World class players, but against Timo BOLL it was over. KO apparently had run out of steam, and he lost 4-0. In the last game he only got 2 (two) points.

Based on previous results Timo BOLL is the favourite of the final. He beat SCHLAGER in the last 5 international encounters – the latest was at the European Championships where BOLL won 4-3 in the semi-finals.



Chinese Title



Lausanne, 8 September 2002. Though China did not send their best players to the Korea Open, they are going home with at least one title. BAI Yang and GUO Yan took the title in Women’s Doubles – not surprising since both BAI Yan and GUO Yan both have several Pro Tour titles already.

In the final against JING Jun Hong and LI Jia Wei (SIN) the Chinese took the lead 1-0. The Singaporeans evened to 1-1, but then the Chinese took control. They won the 3rd game 11-6 and after taking a very close 4th game 13-11, the match was actually over. JING and LI only got 2 points in the last game.
Anyway the place in the final was a bit of consolation for JING Jun Hong and LI Jia Wei who failed to live up to the great expectations at the Women’s World Cup in their home country last week.


Koreans got their title

Lausanne, 8 September 2002. The Korea Open has been a disappointment what concerns the performance of the Korean top players but on Sunday the Korean got a title anyway when KIM Taek Soo and OH Sang Eun won the Men’s Doubles.

The opponents in the final, KO Lai Chak and LI Ching (HKG) have already won one title this year (in Egypt) and in Korea they have performed very well. They even took the lead 1-0 in the final, but in a crucial 2nd game the Koreans recovered to win 14-12.
That seemed to break down the confidence of the Hong Kong players, and KIM and OH took the lead 3-1. KO and LI came back to take the 5th game, but that was too late. KIM and OH were not to be stopped and they took the victory and the title winning 4-2.


First title for Tie Yana


Lausanne, 8 September 2002. Though September is still “young” TIE Yana (HKG) can already call it her best month ever what concerns her table tennis carreer. Last week she was called in as a substitute at the Women’s World Cup in Singapore and she sensationally reached the semi-finals.

On Sunday she took her first Pro Tour title, winning the Women’s Singles at the Korea Open.

Nobody can call it an easy win. On her way to the title she beat nr. 3 in the World, Tamara BOROS (CRO) and nr. 7 in the World RYU Ji-Hae (KOR) and in the final she overcame the young Chinese JIANG Huajun who won the Women’s Doubles and reached the semi-final in Women’s Singles at the Egypt Open this year.

TIE Yana did not go through the final without being shaken. She was down 0-1 but came back to take a 2-1 lead. Then she had a serious slap in the face losing the 4th game 11-0. However she recovered and came back to win the next two games quite easily 11-3, 11-6 to take the match and the title.

Eventually JIANG Huajun still has to wait for her first singles title. However she has time on her side, only 18 years old.


Schlager wins again

Lausanne, 8 September 2002. Werner SCHLAGER (AUT) broke a long streak of defeats to young German Timo BOLL to take the title in Men’s Singles at the Korea Open.

BOLL has won the last 5 international encounters between them – last victory was on his way to become European Champion in May.
This time however SCHLAGER had found the key to beat the strong upcoming German.

SCHLAGER took the first game, but BOLL evened to 1-1. Apparently however the experience of SCHLAGER became the deciding difference. SCHLAGER took the lead and went on to take the win 4-2.

“Our matches are always close, and though I had lost the last times we met, I still considered everything open, when I went to the table”, says Werner SCHLAGER.

The Austrian takes home 15.000 US Dollars for the win, and he will also move to the 1st place in the Pro Tour standings now being totally certain to qualify for the Grand Finals in Stockholm in December.

SCHLAGER has had an excellent summer. In July he reached the semi-finals at the US Open and he won the title in Men’s Singles at the Brazilian Open.


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