The top two seeded pairs in the Men’s Doubles event at the Liebherr Brazilian Open both reached the penultimate stage on Saturday 25th June 2005. Number one seeds, Russia’s Fedor KUZMIN and Alexei SMIRNOV will play Bojan TOKIC of Slovenia and Torben WOSIK of Germany in the semi-finals whilst number two seeds Sweden’s Pär GERELL and Jens LUNDQVIST face Korea’s KIM Tae Hoon and LEE Chul Seung.
Hugo HOYAMA & Rodrigo KOJIMA beaten at the quarter-final stage in Rio de Janeiro
However, for the Brazilians, Hugo HOYAMA and Rodrigo KOJIMA it was the end of the road but KOJIMA had enjoyed the experience and was clearly delighted to have partnered HOYAMA. “Hugo has been playing for a long time and it was a great pleasure to partner him”, said KOJIMA. “Despite the result I’m pleased with our performance, it’s been four years since a Brazilian pair has reached the quarter-finals of the Men’s Doubles, I owe a great deal to Hugo; he kept encouraging me and helped me relax.”
Semi-Finalists In the opening round Fedor KUZMIN and Alexei SMIRNOV beat the Hungarians Peter FAZEKAS and Ferenc PÁZSY followed by success over the Croatians Roko TOSIC and Zoran PRIMORAC whilst their semi-final opponents, Bojan TOKIC and Torben WOSIK, beat the Germans Peter FRANZ and Jörg ROSSKOPF in the opening round followed by success against Artur GRIGORYEV of Russia and Tomislav ZUBCIC of Croatia,
Meanwhile, Pär GERELL and Jens LUNDQVIST accounted for Austria’s Daniel HANESOHN and Michael PICHLER in the first round and continued their good form by overcoming the Brazilians Hugo HOYAMA and Rodrigo KOJIMA in the quarter-finals; their adversaries in the semi-finals, KIM Tae Hoon and LEE Chul Seung defeated Portugal’s Tiago APOLÓNIA and Marcos FREITAS in round one and followed with a quarter-final success against the French duo of Cédric CABESTANY and Patrick CHILA.
The results mean that two players who reached the Men’s Doubles final twelve months ago at the Brazilian Open may reach the same stage yet again; in 2004 both LUNDQVIST and TOKIC reached the final but with different partners to this year. TOKIC partnered Denmark’s Allan BENTSEN whilst LUNDQVIST was in harness with Peter FRANZ, the verdict going in five games to the latter duo.
Most Successful However, the most successful doubles players of those on duty in the semi-finals is undoubtedly LEE Chul Seung.
He won the bronze medal in the Men’s Doubles event at the Olympic Games in 1992 with Kang Hee Chan and repeated the success four years later in Atlanta with YOO Nam Kyu.
Meanwhile, on the ITTF Pro Tour he has won a Men’s Doubles title on five occasions. In 1997 he won at the US Open with OH Sang Eun beating colleagues KIM Bong Chul and YOO Nam Kyu in the final, whilst in 2002, partnering RYU Seung Min, he won at the Panasonic China Open overcoming Olympic and World champions WANG Liqin and YAN Sen in the final.
He formed a very successful partnership with Ryu Seung Min and 2004 proved to be their most successful year. They won the Croatian Open and Egypt Open beating the Austrians Karl JINDRAK and Werner SCHLAGER on both occasions in the final whilst later in the year they won the U.S. Open overcoming CHEN Weixing and LIN Ju to capture the title.