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Table Tennis News and Reviews » Blog Archive » Japan Open - Experience Ensures Korean Crown, Jolts German Goal and Hinders History

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  • 15Jun

    Korea’s Oh Sang Eun, the no.3 seed, won the Men’s Singles title at
    the Japan Open in Wakayama on Sunday 13th June 2009, beating Germany’s
    Patrick Baum in a close seven games encounter at the final hurdle and
    thus prevented a new chapter in the history books of the ITTF Pro Tour
    being written.

    No player, required to negotiate the
    qualification stage has ever won an ITTF Pro Tour Men’s Singles title;
    Patrick Baum who missed a direct entry to the main draw by one place
    and was the highest world ranked player in action in the group stage
    came the closest yet.

    Caused Problems
    The
    fast attacking skills of the German left hander caused the tall stylish
    right hand counter topspin skills of Oh Sang Eun a host of problems.

    Oh Sang won but only just; he succeeded 7-11, 13-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-7, 6-11, 11-6.

    Memories of Three Years Earlier
    In
    many ways it was a similar encounter to 2006 when Oh Sang Eun had won
    the Men’s Singles crown at the Chinese Taipei Open; on that occasion he
    had to withstand a barrage of fast attacking strokes from another
    European left hander, Christophe Legout of France.

    In Taipei City he stood firm in seven games, three years later he stood firm again.

    First Meeting
    It
    was the first time that Oh Sang Eun and Patrick Baum had met in a world
    ranking event with the voice of experience prevailing.

    Fine Results
    Winner
    of five Men’s Singles titles on the ITTF Pro Tour prior to 2009 Japan
    Open, Oh Sang Eun undoubtedly enjoyed his best year in 2005 when he
    clinched gold in Korea, Chile and the United States of America, whilst
    also progressing to the semi-final stage of the Men’s Singles event in
    Shanghai at the Volkswagen 48th World Championships.

    In 2006 he
    won in Chinese Taipei and finished in runners up spot in the Men’s
    Singles event at the Volkswagen Pro Tour Grand Finals before once again
    winning on home soil in Korea one year later.

    World Ranking
    The
    string of fine results meant he progressed to a career high of no.5 on
    the ITTF Men’s World Rankings in May 2007 but then was dogged by a back
    injury, which forced a break from international play and a series of
    disappointing results early in 2008.

    Olympic Games
    However, at the Beijing Olympic Games he returned to form.

    He
    was the one player to cause the Chinese problems giving Ma Lin a torrid
    examination when they met in the Men’s Team event whilst in the ensuing
    Men’s Singles competition he beat Germany’s Timo Boll before once again
    losing to Ma Lin in the quarter-finals.

    In Wakayama he
    underlined the fact that he is now back to approaching his best form
    and once again he showed a distinct liking for German left handers.

    New Experience
    Meanwhile,
    for 21 year old Patrick Baum, it was a whole new experience and
    following his efforts in Wakakayama he is surely now destined to climb
    the ITTF Men’s World Rankings.

    Currently he stands at a career high of no.59 and when the lists are published for July 2009, surely a top 50 place beckons.

    Headache for National Coach
    Furthermore, he has given Richard Prause, the German National Men’s Team Head Coach and his advisors more than food for thought.

    The
    established national team of Timo Boll, Christian Süss and Dimitrij
    Ovtcharov, who won silver in the Men’s Team event at the Beijing
    Olympics Games, has a strong candidate knocking on the door.

    A headache for Richard Prause but it is one which many a country would desire.

    Intense Competition
    Also, the performance of Patrick Baum reflects the intense competition on the ITTF Pro Tour.

    Patrick Baum came through his Men’s Singles qualification group stage matches in first place but only just.

    He
    had to recover from a two games to one deficit to record a seven games
    victory against Korea’s Kim Min Seok; whilst in opposition to Japan’s
    Jin Ueda, he needed six games to seal victory.

    Self-Belief
    Win
    a close match and you believe; it was never more true than for Patrick
    Baum in Wakayama; the Men’s Singles silver medallist at the 2009 Japan
    Open.

    Source: www.ittf.com

    Posted by ttfan @ 11:55 pm

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