Polish Open: Running for Stockholm

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Running for Stockholm

Warsaw, Poland, 15 November 2002. The Idea Polish Open is the penultimate opportunity to score qualifying points for the Grand Finals in Stockholm in December.

After Poland there is only Farum Danish Open left, so players like Mihaela STEFF (ROM), RYU Ji Hae (KOR), Nicole STRUSE (GER) and young Chinese GUO Yue need a good result in Warsaw to move into the group of 16 players getting a ticket for Sweden.
The question is who will stumble first here in Warsaw? They all reached the second round without any major problems. The young GUO Yue (CHN) met the former top player Jasna REED (USA) who was only able to take a single game against the upcoming Chinese.

Nicole STRUSE (GER) lost two games to Anne-Sophie GOURIN (FRA) but at the end things came easy for the German. STRUSE however will have a tough time in the next round, facing another you Chinese girl, LI Xiaoxia. She reached 3 Pro Tour finals in doubles this year. RYU Ji Hae and Mihaela STEFF won easily.

At the top of the standings 4 players can move to the 1st place – if they get good results in Poland and Denmark. LI Nan and ZHANG Yining (CHN), Tamara BOROS (CRO) and Aya UMEMURA (JPN) still have the possibility to overtake WANG Nan (CHN) who has not entered neither the Idea Polish Open nor the Farum Danish Open.

Swedes going home

Warsaw, Poland, 15 2002. The Swedes in Men’s Singles had a really bad Friday at the Polish Open. All 4 of them were favourites in their first round matches – 3 of them lost.
Especially Fredrik HAKANSSON seemed to be far below his normal level against Bohumil VOZICKY (CZE).

With a good result in Warsaw the Swede could actually get quite close to qualifying for the Grand Finals “at home” in Stockholm – but the good result is now out of the question.
VOZICKY was on top most of the time, leading 2-1 and 3-2. HAKANSSON tried his best to hang in there, and he survived the first two match points at 8-10. The Swede however simply did not play well enough and VOZICKY took it 4-2.

Magnus MOLIN lost to the European Champion in doubles, German Zoltan FEJER-KONNERTH, and Magnus MANSSON had to surrender to Aleksei LIVENTSOV (RUS).

Only Swedish winner was Jens LUNDQVIST who easily beat Miroslav HOREJSI (CZE) 4-0.

Wosik beat Tie

Warsaw, Poland, 15 November 2002. Elke WOSIK (GER) created the first major upset in the Women’s Singles when she ousted the Hong Kong star TIE Yana who won the Korea Open in September.
WOSIK simply played better than ever and she even went into the fast rallies with TIE Yana – to win them.

From the players running for the last tickets to the Grand Finals in Stockholm, Nicole STRUSE (GER) was the first to stumble.

STRUSE had a lead in all 7 games of the match against LI Xiaoxia (CHN) but in spite of that she lost 4 of them.

In the 7th game as well STRUSE had 6-2 and 8-6, but every time she took the lead she started to play too carefully. LI recovered and from 9-9 she took the match 11-9 to advance to the last 16.

Mihaela STEFF (ROM) was on the edge as well. Young Laura STUMPER (GER) took her to the 7th game and at the end STEFF needed some luck to win. On her second match point at 10-9, STEFF finished the match hitting the edge with a topspin.

Ma survived – Kong fell

Chinese MA Lin and KONG Linghui both were in deep trouble in their 2nd round matches in Men’s Singles. MA Lin survived but Olympic Champion KONG Linghui surprisingly stumbled against Russian Fedor KUZMIN.
Warsaw, Poland, 15 November 2002. The two top

Fighting Martin Olejnik (CZE)
KONG Linghui never really got his game going against KUZMIN. The Russian has not been much on the Pro Tour but against the top Chinese he did not show any lack of experience. KUZMIN had 3-1, then he lost the 5th game easily. In the 6th KONG took the lead, but KUZMIN kept on fighting and when he caught KONG at 7-7 he started to be even more aggressive.
KUZMIN took the game and the match 11-9.

MA Lin had great difficulties in understanding what happened when Martin OLEJNIK (CZE) went into attack. OLEJNIK knows several strokes which are not mentioned in any instruction book, and he very often caught the World’s nr. 1 on the wrong foot.

OLEJNIK even took the lead 3-2, but in the last two games he did not come close, and MA Lin is still in.

One more top Chinese had to leave the tournament when Eric VARIN (FRA) made one of his rare top performances. VARIN beat Mixed Doubles World Champion QIN Zhijian.

The two Polish players could not live up to the expectation from the home crowd. Tomasz KRZEZEWSKI lost already in the first round and Lucjan BLASZCZYK had to surrender to Zoltan FEJER-KONNERTH (GER) in the second round.

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