Kan Yo the winner of back-to-back Men's Singles titles
Photo By: Victor Rojas
2007 LIEBHERR Chile Open (Click here to access this section)
Japanís Kan Yo repeated the success he had enjoyed one week earlier at the Liebherr Brazilian Open when in Santiago on Sunday 22nd April he won the Menís Singles title at the Liebherr Chile Open, in what was arguably the best final ever seen in the four year history of the ITTF Pro Tour in the South American country.
Kan Yo won 11-6, 11-8, 11-9, 3-11, 11-13, 3-11, 11-8.
It was the first time the two players had met in a World Ranking event and for Tang Peng it was his first ever Menís Singles final on the ITTF Pro Tour.
It was Kan Yo who made the better start in the opening game; he established a 6-2 lead.
Right handed, penhold grip he looked to play his favoured forehand topspin stroke at the earliest opportunity against the right handed Tang Peng. The latter attacked strongly with the backhand and reduced the deficit to 7-6 in favour of Kan Yo.
However, that was the nearest he came. Kan Yo didnít lose another point. He succeeded 11-6 to go one game to the good.
A good start to the contest and a good start in the second game; the more aggressive player, Kan Yo went ahead 4-1.
The Japanese star attacked relentlessly and forced Tang Peng into blocking mode but when it comes to blocking, Tang Peng excels. He reduced the arrears 6-4 before Kan Yo once again established the advantage at 8-4. Again Tang Peng recovered, he won the next three points but he never gained parity. Kan Yo won the game 11-8.
In the third game Tang Peng directed his attacks into the body of Kan Yo; he played more consistently than in the previous two games to move ahead 5-2.
Kan Yo, confident, kept attacking, he kept looking to execute his powerful forehand and he recovered; at 6-all the two were level. Fortune was enjoyed by both players with Kan Yo moving ahead 9-8. However, the point that took him to 9-8 was one of controversy.
Earlier Kan Yo had kicked the ball and received a yellow card, at 9-7 he did it again and received yellow and red, thus the loss of the point. The referee was called and eventually the contest resumed. Kan Yo was full of determination and attacking powerfully won the game 11-9.
In the fourth game Tang Peng went ahead 3-1 and using his backhand to good effect, playing wide to the Kan Yo forehand he progressed into a 7-2 lead.
He extended the lead to 8-2 and progressed to 9-3 before winning the game 10-3. Tang Pengís name was on the scoreboard.
At the start of the fifth game Tang Peng played positively, he won the first three points before Kan Yo replied. The latter made errors on his first attack, especially when attempting the backhand topspin from the reversed side of the racket.
However, he reduced the deficit to 5-4 prompting Tang Peng to call `Time Outí.
Match Point Saved
The first point after the pause went to Kan Yo who then established a 7-5 lead with Tang Peng making errors as he attempted to dominate. The next two points were shared before Kan Yo moved ahead 9-6. Tang Peng reduced the deficit to 9-7, then 9-8, then to the delight of the crowd it was 9-all. Rhythmical clapping they wanted more. Tang Peng went ahead 10-9 but Kan Yo levelled at 10-all.
The next point went to Kan Yo, match point; a let service from Tang Peng, then 11-all; then advantage Tang Peng and serving Tang Peng won the game with a backhand drive `down-the-lineí that left Kan Yo prone on the floor.
Tang Peng was fighting for his life, he urged himself forward with a clenched left fist and at 4-2 ahead he had seized the momentum of the duel.
He attacked the Kan Yo Service, the Japanese star was unusually passive as Tang Peng gave his adversary minimal time to react. The man from Hong Kong dominated the game. He won 11-3, a seventh game beckoned.
The crowd was totally captivated, the gladiators returned. Kan Yo, serving, went ahead 2-0; then 3-0 before Tang Peng responded.
Kan Yo was much more positive than in the previous game, he went ahead 4-2; Tang Peng was equally positive. There was little to choose between the two finalists and when the players changed ends it was Kan Yo who had a one point advantage.
From 5-4 he moved to 7-4, the level of play enthralling as Tang Peng was pinned to the ropes; Tang Peng recovered to trail 7-6, Kan Yo won the next point, 8-6. Another crowd pleasing rally, 9-6 to Kan Yo, fantastic table tennis.
Tang Peng fought, he won the next point, 9-7; then 9-8, then match point to Kan Yo. Could he save again? The answer was in the negative. Kan Yo won the next point and was the Liebherr Chile Open 2007, Menís Singles champion.