Austrian Open: Boll Hat-Trick

Bolls is Men's Singles Champion

ITTF Press Release

Victory over Belgium’s Jean-Michel SAIVE in the final of the Men’s Singles event at the Vegeta Austrian Open in Wels on Sunday 21 November 2004 was the third consecutive success for Germany’s Timo BOLL on the ITTF Pro Tour.

He had won the two previous tournaments in which he had competed, the Polish Open in October and the Volkswagen Open, Germany in November.

BOLL dominated the first three games but as the match progressed, the quality of the rallies improved and the crowd was certainly captivated by the topspin exchanges that were taking places. The spectators didn’t want the match to finish quickly; they were enjoying the entertainment and willed the Belgian star to greater heights. SAIVE fought as usual, he strained every sinew and won the fourth game but there was to be no storybook recovery.

The German star was determined, well aware of his adversary’s pedigree and qualities in tough encounters. In the early stages of the fifth game neither player could establish a clear advantage until the score reached 7-5 in BOLL’s favour; the two-point cushion was the goal he had been seeking but to SAIVE’s credit he fought as though his life depended on the outcome. He recovered, levelled matters at 8-all but there was to be no more success; BOLL seized the initiative, played in a positive manner, attacked, attacked and attacked whilst SAIVE desperately lobbed, lobbed and lobbed. The attacking style won and BOLL had his third ITTF Pro Tour Men’s Singles title of 2004.

“I made a great start but, Jean-Mi is a fighter and I had keep my concentration”, said BOLL. “My hard training during the summer is paying dividends now; I feel great, no more problems with my back, table tennis is a great deal of fun for me theses days.”

Certainly he must be enjoying life at the moment, he is the man in form and with Christian SÜSS has formed an excellent Men’s Doubles partnership. “I’ll take a break next weekend and prepare for the Volkswagen Pro Tour Grand Finals in China”, BOLL continued. “I’m also looking forward to the match China versus the Rest of the World, I spoke to the Austrian coach Ferenc KARSAI and he is preparing some videos for us; I think everyone is really looking forward to this match."

It was defeat for Jean-Michel SAIVE but his efforts in Wels mean that he has qualified for the Volkswagen Grand Finals in Beijing next month. "Timo was the favourite; he is playing great and I can only congratulate him to his title”, explained SAIVE “I had a small chance in the fifth game but Timo was just too strong today. I am happy with my second place.”

It was the ninth time during his career that SAIVE has reached the Men’s Singles final of an ITTF Pro Tour event; second place in Wels was the sixth time he has finished in runners up spot; his three victories having been in England in 1997, in the United States in 1998 and in Qatar in 2002.

Timo BOLL (GER) bt Jean-Michel SAIVE (BEL) 11-5, 11-8, 11-7, 7-11, 11-8

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