Jun Mizutani Captures KAL Cup Pro Tour Grand Finals Menís Singles Crown
ITTF Press Release
Japanís Jun Mizutani wrote another chapter in his biography by winning the Menís Singles title at the KAL Cup Pro Tour Grand Finals in Seoul on Sunday 19th December 2010.
At the final hurdle he beat Germanyís Bastian Steger in five games to capture the crown.
The success gained by Jun Mizutani was hard fought in every round he had been tested, no straight game victories but no seven game examinations.
Most certainly, Bastian Steger proved a worthy opponent in the final.
Tough Opponent ďBastian Steger was a very tough opponentĒ, said Jun Mizutani. ďThe last time I played him I won, so that gave me some confidence for today.Ē
Moment of Doubt A hard fought duel with the fifth game seeing a moment of some doubt; a topspin from Bastian Steger who was back from the table clipped the edge of the table. Well that was the opinion of the umpire; Jun Mizutani thought otherwise and queried the decision.
The umpire moved the score to 8-7, a short discussion ensued with Bastian Steger agreeing the score be changed to 9-6.
It proved a crucial stage of the match; the gap was too great to close.
Not Good Record Jun Mizutani did not have the best of records against Bastian Steger, the pair had met on four previous occasions, with Bastian Steger having won three of the four duels.
However, the age of Jun Mizutani must be taken into consideration; there is an eight year age gap. Jun Mizutani is 21 years old as opposed to Bastian Steger who is 29 years of age.
Previous Contests In October 2004, Bastian Steger had beaten Jun Mizutani in the qualification stage of the Menís Singles event at the Danish Open and three years later at the quarter-final stage of the Menís Singles event at the Austrian Open.
One year later in Guangzhou at the Evergrande Real Estate World Team Championships Bastian Steger won when they met in the first stage of the Menís Team event but when they met most recently, at the English Open in October 2009, it was Jun Mizutani who succeeded. He won a closely fought three games encounter.
Disappointments in Germany and China In Seoul it was a hard fought contest with both players in form.
Victory went to Jun Mizutani and after two disappointments he had succeeded; at the Liebherr Menís World Cup in Magdeburg in late October he had lost a close semi-final duel against Chinaís Zhang Jike and then a similarly close contest in opposition to Germanyís Timo Boll in the bronze medal match.
Furthermore, in November at the Asian Games, he had not done himself justice against Chinaís Wang Hao in the Menís Singles semi-finals and was bitterly disappointed.
Again in Korea One month later, the disappointment turned to happiness, in Seoul at the KAL Cup Pro Tour Grand Finals, he had drawn down the curtain successfully.
Furthermore, Korea must now have a special place in his heart.
It was in 2009 that he won the Menís Singles title at the KAL Korean Open, his first ever ITTF Pro Tour Menís Singles title.
Just Like Home ďYes thatís right, I like it hereĒ, concluded Jun Mizutani. ďSame hotel, same hall; I feel at home.Ē
No doubt he did and for Jun Mizutani an early Christmas present; the Menís Singles title at the KAL Cup Pro Tour Grand Finals.
Menís Singles Final Jun Mizutani (JPN) bt Bastian Steger (GER) 11-5, 11-9, 8-11, 11-9, 11-7