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Oh Sang Eun Wins Chinese Tapei Open

Dramatic Men's Singles Final

Men's Singles Final

Oh Sang Eun (Korea)v Christophe Legout (France)

One year ago, on Sunday 12th June 2005, Oh Sang Eun won his first ever Men's Singles title on the ITTF Pro Tour. He beat colleague, Lim Jae Hyun in the final of the Volkswagen Open Korea.

In Taipei on Sunday 11th June 2006 he had the opportunity to celebrate the anniversary by winning at the TMS Chinese Taipei Open.

Oh Sang of Korea, the top seed in the Men's Singles event, tall right handed; a strong topspin player against the left handed fast attacking FRenchman, Christophe Legout.

1st Game
Christophe Legout started as he had finished in his semi-final encounter, active, busy, looking for every opportunity to attack.

Oh Sang Eun, smooth, prepared to block and when the chance arose unleash his powerful topspin strokes.

The players stood level at 4-all in the opening game, the stage at which Oh Sang Eun unleashed a tirade of powerful topspin strokes to move ahead 7-4.

Legout then moved into the fast lane, he attacked quickly and reduced the arrears to 7-6.

Oh Sang Eun went ahead 9-6, Legout kept attacking, he won the next three points before at 10-9 Oh Sang Eun had game point. The Korean attacked strongly from the backhand, somehow, Legout laid bat on ball and levelled.

However, that was his last point of the game, the next two went to Oh Sang Eun, the Korean won the opening game 12-10.

2nd Game
Oh Sang Eun, serving with the forehand at all times, looked to attack the Legout backhand early in the rally. He did but Legout moving like lightning won the the first five points of the second game.

Using his short reverse service to good effect Legout moved ahead 6-2, the stage at which the Korean started his recovery. Oh Sang Eun won the next four points and at 6-all it was parity.

At 7-all the two were level with Legout serving. He won both points on his service, the latter with a superb backhand topspin `down-the-line' which sped past bthe Oh Sang Eun backhand.

The stroke lifted his level of play and he progressed in style to win the game 11-8.

3rd Game
Legout was intent on attacking the Oh Sang Eun backhand whenever possible and he served predominantly into the Korean's backhand, varying the length and spin in a effort to force errors; on many occasions preferring the reverse service.

Similarly, Oh Sang Eun directed his opening attacks into the body of the Frenchman and established a 6-4 lead.

He extended the lead to 8-4 and at 10-5 had game point; Legout attacked ferociously and saved the first game point but a powerful Oh Sang Eun forehand ebded matters on the next point.

Third game went to Oh Sang Eun 11-6.

4th Game
Serving first in the fourth game, Oh Sang Eun won the first two points.

The next two on the Frenchman's service were shared, Legout then reduced the arrears to 2-3 but the next three points all went the way of Oh Sang Eun.

The Korean was now dominant, he went ahead 9-3 and eventually won the game 11-6 when Legout erred with a forehand topspin.

5th Game
The Korean now had his sights set on the title. In the fifth game he went ahead 4-2 before playing a rather reckless backhand topspin.

The error gave Legout hope. He levelled at 5-all and then went ahead 6-5.

Oh Sang Eun re-grouped. He won the next two points but Legout fought and levelled at 8-all.

A faint edge and Legout went ahead 9-8, Oh Sang Eun levelled at 9-all. Legout was out of position Oh Sang Eun had the table at his mercy and played a weak forehand into the net. Game point to Legout who took his chance when Oh Sang Eun erred again with the forehand.

Christophe Legout won the fifth game 11-9.

6th Game
The reprieve gave him confidence, he played like the TGV French Express railway train early in the sixth game and with a blistering backhand went ahead 4-1.

Then a golden chance to lead 5-1, he rushed a forehand, it went off the end of the table, the score was 4-2.

However, the Frenchman was undeterred. Attacking as quickly as he has ever done in his life he went ahead 6-3.

A long fast service to the Oh Sang Eun forehand, a tremndous forehand topspin and Legout went ahead 7-4. Oh Sang Eun won the next point and the next; Legout was 7-6 ahead and called `Time Out'.

The break worked in favour of Oh Sang Eun who levelled at 7-all, the next two points were shared.

Legout then went ahead 9-8, and then 10-8; he had won both points on the Oh Sang Eun service.

A tremendous topspin rally saw Oh Sang Eun save the first game point, then uproar. The crowd had a hero and he was French. A Legout forehand wide to the Oh Sang Eun forehand won the game, second game to France 11-9!

7th Game
The crowd of over one thousand was enraptured, Legout could have been one of their own, they warmed to his fighting spirit.

Legout changed his shirt, it was blue, the same colour as that of Oh Sang Eun. The Korean, always the sportsman changed his to red. He received the applause of the crowd who now could decide who they wanted to win.

They were just enjoying fantastic sport.

Legout went ahead 3-1, then 4-1 and when the players changed ends he was 5-1 ahead. Understandably, Oh Sang Eun called `Time Out'.

Oh Sang Eun reduced the arrears to 5-2 but then Legout attacking over the table went ahead 6-2.

THe next point went to Oh Sang Eun, the next to Legout. It was 8-3 to France, then 8-4, 8-5 as Legout ered with a backhand topspin.

Oh Sang Eun won the next two points, 8-7 and levelled at 8-all.

Legout serving went ahead 9-8, then 9-all with Oh Sang Eun to serve.

THe Korean composed himself, Legout erred with a forehand flick, advantage Korea and then game to Oh Sang Eun as a Legout forehand flew off the end of the table.

Oh Sang Eun won the game 11-9.

Source: ITTF
Photo: Oh Sang Eun, the Men's Singles champion at the TMS Chinese Taipei Open


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