Chile Open: Klasek Loses A Classic

Kreanga wins Men's Singles Title

ITTF Press Release

Kalinikos KREANGA of Greece won the Menís Singles final at the ITTF Pro Tour Chile Open beating the Czech Republicís Marek KLASEK in a final the reflected the latterís surname; the contest was a classic with the Czech player winning the first three games before KREANGA fought back to clinch victory.

It was the Greek playerís second ITTF Pro Tour Menís Singles title of his career; winning in Japan in 2002 had been a tough task; in Santiago he was the favourite but as so often happens when you are the underdog, you throw caution to the wind and you play at a higher level; KLASEK was uninhibited and attacking strongly from both backhand and forehand gave the champion elect a real scare.

`It was a hard game, a very hard game,í sighed a somewhat relieved KREANGA. `It was important for me to win and I had to fight for every point; at the beginning of the match Marek was outstanding; in each of the first three games I had a chance to win but I couldnít take the opportunity that was presented.í

KLASEK was on fire and he was the more powerful player with his strong attacking strokes causing the eventual champion a host of problems. KREANGA explained: `In the rallies he was the stronger, the only way I could succeed was to try to win the points quickly; to attack his service whenever possible and to follow my service with fast attacking strokes to win the point outright on the third ball.í

Eventually KREANGA prevailed in a match that enthralled the enthusiastic Chilean crowd and he won their hearts; as he left the Victor Jara Stadium, the crowd engulfed him and he responded to the adulation by giving away sheets of bat rubber; mementos that will certainly be greatly treasured by the thankful recipients.

No doubt when they go to play table tennis tomorrow, they will be telling their friends about the story book fight back on Sunday afternoon and, more than likely, they will be trying to copy the techniques and style of their new found hero, Kalinikos KREANGA of Greece.

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