Jun Mizutani delivered for Japan
Photo By: Tetsu Yamashita
GAC GROUP 2012 ITTF World Tour, Japan Open
The applause rang around the Green Arena in Kobe late on the afternoon of Sunday 10th June.
Jun Mizutani had delivered.
The 23 year old had responded to the occasion to beat Koreaís Oh Sangeun to win the Menís Singles title at the GAC GROUP 2012 ITTF World Tour Japan Open.
He succeeded in six games (11-9, 11-9, 11-13, 4-11, 14-12, 11-5) to collect his second GAC GROUP 2012 ITTF World Tour Menís Singles title of the year.
In February he had won in Kuwait and as four months later he had beaten a Korean in the final to clinch gold; in Kuwait it had been Ryu Seungmin, the man he had ousted one day earlier in the quarter-finals in Kobe.
Top Spin Attacks
Fast top spin attacks against the control of Oh Sangeun were the order of proceedings for Jun Mizutani as matters commenced in the final.
Urged forward by the crowd he attacked relentlessly to capture the first two games, both by the minimal two point margin.
Close to Table
Equally he gained success by staying close to the table on the backhand and gaining angles but Jun Mizutani is more comfortable a slight distance away from the table, where he has time to execute his top spin strokes in an athletic and entertaining manner.
However, when he followed the service quickly with forehand attacking strokes he reaped rewards, giving Oh Sangeun minimal time to exercise his high class blocking skills.
Vital Time Out
The first two game had been close with the vital points going to Jun Mizutani.
In the third game, once again they were level at 9-all; then after fortune had favoured Oh Sangeun they were level again at 10-all. At 10-11 Jun Mizutani saved game point; then at 11-12 he was faced with the same scenario.
Yoo Nam Kyu, the Korean coach on duty called ĎTime Outí. It proved a wise move, a long rally ensued, it was won by Oh Sangeun.
Focused on Backhand
Directing his early attacking strokes in the rally towards the backhand of Jun Mizutani, Oh Sangeun secured the fourth game.
He continued the policy in the fifth game, establishing an 8-5 lead; Jun Mizutani, the more active of the two players won the next three points but at 10-8 it was two game points to Oh Sangeun.
Serving Jun Mizutani won both points, a pivotal stage of the match had been reached; again at 10-11, Jun Mizutani saved game point, it was parity at 11-all. The Japanese camp called ĎTime Outí.
Jun Mizutani won the next point, Oh Sangeun saved; then another chance for the Japanese star, this time converted. Jun Mizutani had restored his lead.
In the sixth game Jun Mizutani won a quite amazing point to move ahead 2-1; he was pinned to the barriers and somehow returned a tennis technique executed smash from the Korean.
The 4,000 strong crowd rose in adulation, sensational.
Now the momentum was with Jun Mizutani; he moved ahead 8-3 and at 10-4 held six match points.
Oh Sangeun saved the first but not the second, Jun Mizutani celebrated, so did the whole of Kobe; for Japan, a perfect finish.