Dutch Open: Wang H. wins Men's Singles

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Fighting the Great Wall

Eindhoven, The Netherlands 27 October 2002. Young CHUAN Chih-Yuan (TPE) was few days ago invited for the Men’s World Cup in China as a reserve because Vladimir SAMSONOV (BLR) cancelled – but actually this weekend CHUAN is proving that he “belongs” at the World Cup.
He already beat Olympic Champion KONG Linghui (CHN) and on Sunday morning he created another upset beating World’s nr. 2, MA Lin (CHN).
In a very attractive match CHUAN destroyed MA Lin’s chance to win his fourth title in two weeks. MA won singles and doubles at the German Open and on Saturday he got another title in Men’s Doubles here in Eindhoven – but on his way to his fourth title CHUAN was too big an obstacle. MA Lin lost 2-4.

From the very first point MA realized that getting into the finals again was going to be tough. CHUAN dominated the match, and though MA took a close 2nd game (14-12) he couldn’t get in control against the fast moving CHUAN.

“I just played my best and fought for every point”, CHUAN says in good English. “Today that was enough to get into the final again. I have lost two Pro Tour finals this year - in Japan and Qatar - so it’s time for me to win it now.”

In the final he is playing WANG Hao (CHN), who broke down YINGCHAO Hao’s defence in 5 games.

“That’s good for me”, CHUAN says, “I don’t like playing against defenders, with WANG I might have more chance of winning.”

Niu feels at home

Eindhoven, The Netherlands 27 October 2002. NIU Jianfeng (CHN) must feel at home in the Netherlands. Last year she won the Women’s Doubles at the Dutch Open and this year things came out even better for her – she won both Women’s Doubles and Women’s Singles.

In the singles final she beat compatriot LI Jia 4-2. Though LI is her team mate and doubles partner she showed no mercy.

NIU Jianfeng (CHN) Dutch Open Champion
NIU Jianfeng had the lead 1-0 and 2-1 but LI Jia came back, the game to 2-2 she won very closely 14-12.
Then NIU however proved to have an extra gear. She took the next two games 11-6, 11-7 to take the match and the Dutch title.

This trip to Europe turned out to be a good investment for NIU. At the German Open she reached the semi-finals in singles and the final in doubles – and here in Eindhoven she is running away with two titles.

The singles title alone gives her 10.000 US Dollars in prize money.

Second title to Wang Hao

Eindhoven, The Netherlands 27 October 2002. Young Chinese WANG Hao took his second Pro Tour title this year – and in his career – when he won the Men’s Singles final at the Dutch Open. WANG earlier this year also won the Egypt Open.

With a very strong field in Eindhoven, WANG Hao proved once again that he is the man of the future. Only 18 and already beating the best.
His opponent in the final CHUAN Chih-Yuan(TPE) is still waiting for his first title after losing his third final this year. In Qatar he lost to Jean-Michel SAIVE (BEL) and in Japan Greek Kalinikos KREANGA got in his way.

CHUAN, the number 10 on the World Ranking performed very well the entire tournament and was, without a coach, on the edge of winning his first major title.

In Eindhoven he opened the final very well and he took the first two games with strong attacks from both forehand an backhand side.

WANG however somehow managed to take over the match and fought back to 2-2. Both players won another game but in the 7th and decisive game CHUAN started – forced by WANG - to make mistakes.

WANG’s performance was impressive, especially his backhand topspin and block, which the penholder takes with the backside of the racket.

“The points were very close, and I knew that even though I wasn’t starting too well, I could recover when fighting hard”, says WANG.

“I am very pleased with this victory. I was quite confident since CHUAN had lost two finals before, and I had won one in Egypt this year. I think he got a little nervous.”

CHUAN – only 21 - still has time to become a Pro Tour winner and at the Dutch Open he proved that even though he was only invited to next week’s World Cup as a reserve, he will be dangerous to anyone there.

WANG Hao is not at the World Cup so who knows, perhaps CHUAN can take the World Cup before he wins a Pro Tour title?

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