by Simon Daish
Champion at the 2008 Belarus Open Vladimir Samsonov claimed his second title at the tournament six years later in 2014, where he defeated none other than Poland’s Wang Zengyi across five games in the final.
Now Vladimir Samsonov has made it three victories from three outings at the Belarus Open, adding the 2017 title to his collection after seeing off Wang Zengyi yet again in Minsk.
Top seed Samsonov has been subject to a number of surprise defeats in the early months of the year, but the 40-year-old had faced little trouble on his path to the 2017 Belarus Open Men’s Singles final and it was the Belarusian who made the stronger start in the finale moving ahead by a two games advantage.
Wang went into the match looking to avenge his defeat in the final occurring two years previously, and the Polish player responded well after falling behind to Samsonov as the no.3 seed picked up two consecutive games of his own to draw the final level.
With the scores at two games apiece there was nothing to separate the two finalists, yet with the help of the home crowd Samsonov lifted his performance and back-to-back game victories followed giving the Belarusian contestant the trophy (11-8, 11-5, 8-11, 9-11, 11-5, 11-5).
“I’m very glad that I am victorious in this tournament. Thanks to all of today’s spectators, their support really helped me. The match has been tough, with all the games going at equal. A finale is always hard. I plan to work on my health now, because I don’t have enough time for recovery due to the stiff games schedule and permanent moving”, Vladimir Samsonov.