Seo Hyun Deok (left) returns service, Kim Minsek (right) waits to pounce
Photo By: Tetsu Yamashita
GAC GROUP 2012 ITTF World Tour, Japan Open
Youth prevailed over experience with Kim Minseok and Seo Hyun Deok combining to win the Men’s Doubles title at the GAC GROUP 2012 ITTF World Tour Japan Open in Kobe on the afternoon of Sunday 10th June.
Seeded no.8, at the final hurdle they beat colleagues and sixth seeds Oh Sangeun and Ryu Seungmin to clinch the title.
They won in six games (11-5, 7-11, 11-5, 8-11, 11-3, 10-12, 11-9)
Kim Minseok is 20 years old, Seo Hyun Deok is one year old; conversely Ryu Seungmin is 29 and Oh Sangeun 35 years of age.
Unquestionably Oh Sangeun and Ryu Seungmin were the more experienced pairing but if her want witness talent, sheer talent; then look no further tha Seo Hyun Deok and Kim Minseok. Both are capable of producing the unexpected, both can execute strokes that make you blink in wonder.
They are prodigious talents and surely if anyone is going to challenge China in the next decade then look no further than Kim Minseok and Seo Hyun Deok.
In Kobe as Kim Minseok unleashed a forehand top spin with pin point accuracy, totally off balance, to win the first game; that talent was emphasised.
Stopping Kim Minseok and Seo Hyun Deok execute vicious forehand top spin strokes was the major problem that faced Oh Sangeun and Ryu Seungmin.
The left handed Seo Hyun Deok complements the right handed Kimseok.
However, an weak returns and either Oh Sangeun or Ryu Seungmin would pounce.
They won the second game and lost the third before racing into a 7-1 lead in the fourth game; then mistakes accrued; Kim Minseok and Seo Hyun Deok won the next five points. The elder statesmen called ‘Time Out’.
The break stemmed the tide; at 10-8, Oh Sangeun and Ryu Seungmin held two game points, they needed just one. It was parity.
Stung into Action
Stung into action, no doubt feeling they had missed an opportunity in the fourth game; there was no stopping Kim Minseok and Seo Hyun Deok in the fifth game.
Time and again they peppered the backhands of Oh Sangeun and Ryu Seungmin forcing their adversaries into the deep grass, backs to the barrier.
Three Match Points
One step away from victory; in the sixth game they moved ahead 8-6; then 9-7 and at 10-7 held three match points.
Oh Sangeun and Ryu Seungmin won the next two points, Kim Minseok and Seo Hyun Deok called ‘Time Out’; the break worked for their adversaries. Oh Sangeun and Ryu Seungmin levelled; then won the next two points to win the game and force a decider.
In the seventh game Kim Minseok and Seo Hyun Deok held the advantage at 5-4 when the players changed ends.
They maintained the advantage and at 10-5 held five match points.
Oh Sangeun and Ryu Seungmin won the next four points; then the outrageous.
Receiving service, the obvious option was with the forehand; nor Kim Minseok!
He raced around the forehand, executed the modern day backhand return of service; the ball sped a across the net at the speed of light, Oh Sangeun and Ryu Seungmin stood mesmerised, totally flat-footed.
A stroke of genius has won the match; that’s Kim Minseok!