Jun Mizutani beaten by Wang Hao
Photo By: Vincent Kovacs
LIEBHERR 2011 Men's World Cup (Click here to access this section)
The defending champion and winner of the title on three previous occasions, Chinaís Wang Hao emerged successful in his semi-final duel at the Liebherr Menís World Cup in Paris on the morning of Sunday 13th November 2011.
Seeded no.1, he beat Jun Mizutani, the no.4 seed, in five games to book his place in the final of the prestigious tournament for the sixth time in his career.
Now on his most recent six appearances in the Menís World Cup, he has reached the final. Meanwhile, for Jun Mizutani in his third Liebherr Menís World Cup appearance it was the second consecutive occasion that he had departed at the semi-final stage.
Chinese Star Again Ends Progress
One year ago in Magdeburg he was beaten by Zhang Jike in the penultimate round.
In Paris he was beaten by Wang Hao 11-8, 11-6, 11-5, 9-11, 11-4
It was the ninth meeting between Jun Mizutani and Wang Hao and matters went in accordance with the most recent encounters.
In previous contests, Jun Mizutani had beaten Wang Hao at the Asian Championships in September 2005, when they first crossed swords and four years later in December 2009. he had emerged successful at the East Asia Games.
However ominously, the three most recent meetings had all been won by Wang Hao and all without the loss of a single game.
At the Asian Games in Guangzhou last year in November and earlier this year at the GAC GROUP 2011 World Championships in Rotterdam, Wang Hao had been clinical.
Similarly he had taken no prisoners when the pair met at the Swedish Open one month ago in Stockholm.
The major battle for Jun Mizutani was to discipline himself to stay close to the table; not to be forced away.
Against most mortals the topspin play of Jun Mizutani away from the table produces success; it is entertaining to watch and clearly effective. He has a top ten world ranking. However, against Chinese players, especially an adversary of Wang Haoís pedigree, trying to succeed away from the table is not likely to work.
It was no doubt a fact of which he was well aware.
No Shanghai Repeat
At the Volkswagen World Championships in 2005, Denmarkís Michael Maze had beaten Wang Hao in the Menís Singles event by spending more time near the court surrounds than near the table.
However, since that time, nobody has been successful adopting that strategy against the Chinese star. Simply when the adversary is in the deep grass, Wang Hao directs every attack towards his opponentís backhand.
Certainly Jun Mizutani tried to stay close to the table but in so doing he had to take risks; he made mistakes, against Wang Hao that is terminal.
There were flashes of brilliance from Jun Mizutani, notably in the fourth game.
Playing bravely, Jun Mizutani established a 7-6 lead; somewhat surprisingly he called ďTime OutĒ.
However, it proved a wise decision, he held a game point at 10-9, executed a rapier-like forehand wide to the Wang Hao forehand to secure the next point and win the game.
Securing the fourth game had given Jun Mizutani an injection of adrenalin; he traded blow for blow with Wang Hao in the early stages of the fifth game.
However, gradually Wang Hao assumed control; he went ahead 8-4. He was not to be denied; at 10-8 it was match point, the chance was taken.
Wang Hao was in the final.
Visit: itTV for interview with Liu Guoliang who analyses Wang Hao's performance.