19 Mar 2017

The Men's Singles final at the 2017 ITTF Challenge Belgosstrakh Belarus Open will see Wang Zengyi and Vladimir Samsonov go head-to-head in a repeat of the 2014 Belarus Open final, after both players came through their respective semi-final matches on Sunday 19th March.

by Simon Daish

Poland’s Wang Zengyi headed into the last four off the back of two successive seven game victories over Kalinikos Kreanga and Daniel Gorak, but the deciding game wasn’t required in his semi-finals encounter prevailing over Grigory Vlasov in five ends.

Wang made the brighter start to the tie with his capture of games one and two, but it looked as though Russia’s Vlasov had managed to find his footing in the match following his win in the third game.

However, Wang refused to allow his opponent to fight his way into the tie as the no.3 seed stole the next two games to complete a 4-1 triumph against Vlasov (11-4, 12-10, 7-11, 11-8, 11-2).

“It was hard to win in this match. In the beginnings of games two and three Grigory changed his tactics, but I adapted quickly and implemented my own play. I’ve done really well today. It seems like the long-awaited confidence came after yesterday’s two won matches. I overcame Vladimir two times in the Champions League, still I am sure that the final match will be hard. I’ll try to do my best and turn the tables for the finals of 2014 Belarus Open,” Wang Zengyi.

Vladimir Samsonov remains on track to lift the Belarus Open Men’s Singles trophy for the third time, after progressing beyond the semi-finals stage with a comfortable result against Sun Chia-Hung.

Belarus’ Vladimir Samsonov reached the last four without dropping a single game throughout the earlier rounds of the tournament and his run of straight game successes continued in Minsk, seeing off Chinese Taipei’s Sun Chia-Hung by a 4-0 scoreline (11-7, 11-9, 11-6, 14-12) to move into the final.

“The support of the fans helped me in this match, it was alright. Table tennis is full of unpredictability; everything can change in no time. In the semi-finals, I had some problems receiving my opponent’s servings, but I’ve dealt with it. A final game is always a challenge, so I don’t want to anticipate the result – I’ll just go on with my play”, Vladimir Samsonov.

Watch the 2017 ITTF Challenge Belgosstrakh Belarus Open unfold, follow the action live with itTV

Challenge Series Vladimir Samsonov Wang Zengyi Grigory Vlasov Sun Chia-Hung
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