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Oh Sang Eun wins US Open

Third Men's Singles title this year

ITTF Press Release

OH Sang Eun is undoubtedly enjoying the best year of his table tennis career.

In May he gained the bronze medal in the Men’s Singles event at the Volkswagen 48th World Championships, in June he won the Volkswagen Open Korea and in July he has now been crowned champion at both the TMS Chile Open and the Liebherr U.S. Open.

The only slight blemish on his efforts in recent months was in the semi-final of the TMS Chinese Taipei Open when he lost in seven games to Austria’s CHEN Weixing who then succumbed to twenty-one year old LEE Jung Woo, the man OH Sang Eun beat in the final in Fort Lauderdale.

Previous Meetings
In World Ranking events OH Sang Eun and LEE Jung Woo have only played each other on one occasion, that being earlier this year at the Volkswagen Open Korea in Suncheon when OH Sang Eun won in six games; however they are no strangers to each other. “We play each other all the time”, said OH Sang Eun. “We know each other’s game.”

OH Sang Eun is the model of consistency, controlled, shakehands grip attacking from both backhand and forehand with equal effect; LEE Jung Woo is the all action penhold grip player, dynamic covering every inch of the court as he attempts to unleash his devastating forehand.

Close Early Games
The first two games were both close, LEE Jung Woo clinched the first but OH Sang Eun responded by winning the second; the second proved to be the watershed, the champion elect won 16-14, had it gone the other way then LEE Jung Woo would have been two games to the good and perhaps the outcome may have been different.

A close win gives confidence and OH Sang Eun went ahead 7-3 in the third, LEE Jung Woo recovered to 7-all but OH Sang Eun maintained his focus to emerge successful 11-8. Similarly in both the fourth and fifth games OH Sang Eun went ahead 5-0, then 6-1 , on both occasions LEE Jung Woo narrowed the gap but never levelled the scores and OH Sang Eun duly collected his third ITTF Pro Tour Men’s Singles title of the year.

“I had trouble with his serve the first two games,” said OH Sang Eun. “Generally, the strategy is simple, you can’t give him chances to topspin at full power, you have to move him around to the wide corners and keep varying your shots so he’s never quite comfortable.”

Practice and Confidence
“Practice is the only way to become the best player”, said LEE Jung Woo. “When other players take time off, I try to put in extra practice, I try to use my time wisely.” In addition to the usual five hours or so of training with his Korean company team, LEE Jung Woo regularly does extra physical training in the morning and evening.

“Confidence is the main thing, when I first played internationally, I lost many matches”, he continued. “As I played more, I won more and gained self-belief; winning the TMS Chinese Taipei Pro Tour and making the final here is a boost to my confidence.”

LEE Jung Woo is certainly a player to watch in the next few years and when he’s full of confidence then he’s a prodigious opponent; however, the man who must be brimful of confidence at the moment is his colleague, OH Sang Eun.

He is now in the number one spot in the ITTF Pro Tour Standings.


Men’s Singles Final

OH Sang Eun (KOR) bt LEE Jung Woo (KOR) 11-13, 16-14, 11-8, 11-6, 11-5

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