Samsonov Captures Crown at Chile Open
Vladimir Samsonov won his fourteenth career ITTF Pro Tour Men’s Singles title when he prevailed at the Liebherr Chile Open on Sunday 2nd July 2006 but of all the many titles that have come the way of the man from Belarus, the crown gained in Santiago was one of the hardest fought successes.
He saved two match points in the decisive seventh game before emerging successful 9-11, 11-8, 5-11, 11-5, 11-9, 7-11, 12-10.
It was a titanic struggle, a match that was a fitting end to the tournament, a match that was a credit to both players; a match that highlighted the very best aspects of table tennis.
Gardos had other ideas, he was superb, he won the next four points and at 10-8 he had two match points. The Austrian had won four points in a row, now the tables turned, Samsonov saved both match points; then at 11-10 he had match point. There was an opportunity; he did not let the opportunity slip through his fingers. He won his fourth consecutive point and he was the victor.
The comments made by Samsonov pay credit to Gardos, he had contributed to a wonderful spectacle; the best match in the tournament had been saved to last.
It was another tournament in which he had clinched victory from the jaws of defeat, he saved match point after match point against Romania’s Adrian Crisan in round three before securing victory, a match that must still haunt Crisan.
At the Liebherr Chile Open in 2006 Vladimir Samsonov emerged as the champion; no doubt Robert Gardos feels the pain of defeat. He came so close, so very close but one factor is now clear. He knows now that he can compete at the very highest levels.
In Santiago Robert Gardos made a major step forward.
Image: Vladimir Samsonov, the winner of an epic Men's Singles final in Santiago
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