Polish Open: Top seeds out on top
Polish Open Review
Saturday, November 16, 2002
ITTF Press Releases
Badescu to a new level
Warsaw, Poland, 16 November 2002. Otilia BADESCU (ROM) is a player of very good European standard, but often she comes up short when she is facing the best Asians. On Saturday she changed that “habit” beating Aya UMEMURA (JPN) to advance to the quarter finals in Women’s Singles.
UMEMURA has won 2 Pro Tour events this year and she is already certain to go to the Grand Finals in Stockholm. In Poland however she is out. She had problems already on Friday against Tatyana LOGATZKAYA (BLR) and against BADESCU there was nothing to do.
The quarter finals will be “Romania vs the Chinese” BADESCU’s compatriot Mihaela STEFF was the only other European who survived beating CAO Xingni (CHN). Second seed Tamara BOROS (CRO) lost to ZHANG Rui (HKG) and RYU Jie Hae (KOR) lost to the young Chinese Guo Yue.
Polish party not over yet
Warsaw, Poland, 16 November 2002. The two Polish heroes Lucjan BLASZCZYK and Tomasz KRZEZEWSKI both disappointingly lost in the Men’s Singles, but in the Men’s Doubles they are still alive – playing the semi-finals on Saturday evening against the top seeded pair MA Lin /KONG Linghui (CHN)
In the quarter finals the home crowd saw the Polish pair struggling a bit against a pair created for the occasion, Werner SCHLAGER (AUT) and young Dane Michael MAZE.
The European Champions Timo BOLL/Zoltan FEJER-KONNERTH (GER) needed a good result in Warsaw to qualify for the Grand Finals. They were close to get it. They had the lead 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 but the Chinese evened to 3-3 and in the 7th game they won 11-9.
In the semi-finals WANG and QIN will meet Danny HEISTER/Trinko KEEN (NED).
Wang Nan busy in politics
Warsaw, Poland, 16 November 2002. World Champion and nr. 1 on the World Ranking, WANG Nan (CHN) is also nr. 1 on the Pro Tour Standings in Women’s Singles. She is however not in Poland to defend her position – because she gave higher priorities to politics.
She will be a “victim” of the rule saying that to qualify, players have to participate in either 6 Pro Tour event or in Pro Tour events on 3 different continents. WANG has only played 3 events, and she has only been on 2 continents.
Title is no guarantee
Warsaw, Poland, 16 November 2002. The World Cup title is no guarantee for success, especially when you play against a compatriot and doubles partner who knows you well. World Cup winner Timo BOLL (GER) was on the edge of losing to his doubles partner Zoltan FEJER-KONNERTH but he kept hanging in there and he won the 7th game 13-11.
“Zoltan has won against me before – he knows me and today he played very well. When I had 10-6 he played some excellent points but luckily I survived”, says Timo BOLL who in the next round will meet Russian Aleksei SMIRNOV.
Warsaw, Poland, 16 November 2002. The two Romanian players left in Women’s Singles both lost, and now the semi-finals are all Chinese with 3 players from mainland China and 1 from Hong Kong.
In the semi-final on Sunday morning LIN Ling meets top seed ZHANG Yining (CHN).
Mihaela STEFF lost 4-0 to Chinese GUO Yan, but it was quite close. STEFF lost 3 of the games with only two points and in two games it was 10-10. The Romanian however could not take the important points.
GUO Yan will face compatriot GUO Yue in the semi-finals.
Top seeds out on top
Warsaw, Poland, 16 November 2002. The Men’s Singles event at the Polish Open has presented a lot of surprises, but at the end the very best came through anyway.
The young Russian however once more made you wonder why he is living a quiet life as a player in the 3rd German Bundesliga. He took SCHLAGER all the way to 9-9 in the 7th before he had to surrender.
“I tried to play short to SCHLAGER to avoid to get into longer rallies with him, however I think at the end you could see that SCHLAGER is used to matches like this – and I am not”, says KUZMIN who is hoping for a new and better contract for the coming year.
For sure his performance in Warsaw will make him take a big step forward on the World Ranking from his current position as nr. 163.
Nr. 1 in the World MA Lin (CHN) had unexpected difficulties against his young compatriot TANG Peng. MA Lin went to 3-1, but TANG kept hanging in there and he evened to 3-3. In the 7th however there was no doubt, MA Lin was the best.
BOLL was also the best in his quarter final, but his opponent Alexei SMIRNOV (RUS) proved once more that he has improved a lot in 2002. In spite of his loss to BOLL, the Russian now has a good chance to qualify for the Grand Finals – with the points earned in Warsaw.
Danny HEISTER (NED) gave World Champion WANG Liqin (CHN) a good fight but never really came close. He lost 2-4.
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