by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
The Czech Republic is rich in the annals of table tennis; names like Ivan Andreadis, Jaroslav Stanek, Vladimir Miko and Milan Orlowski roll of the tongue but prior to the meeting in Panagyurishte, no player from the eastern European country had ever won an ITTF World Tour Men’s Singles title.
In fact, Tomas Konecny is only the third player from the Czech Republic ever to reach such a final.
At the English Open in Kettering in 1997, Petr Korbel was beaten in the final by Belgium’s Jean-Michel Saive; later in 2004 in Santiago, Chile, the same fate befell Marek Klasek. He experienced defeat at the hands of Kalinikos Kreanga of Greece.
Success for Tomas Konecny was as status advised; he was the higher rated player.
However, past results suggested the contest was very much in the balance; they had met on two previous occasions in World ranking events, honours had been shared. At the Liebherr 2009 World Championships, Quentin Robinot had prevailed; more recently at the GAC Group 2015 ITTF World Tour Hungarian Open, the decision went in favour of Tomas Konecny.
“I feel really amazing right now. It’s the first time I have won on the ITTF World Tour. It’s amazing, I can’t believe it. It was quite hard. Quentin is very good so, it was hard.” Tomas Konecny after beating Quentin Robinot
Once again at the Asarel 2016 ITTF World Tour Bulgaria Open, the decision went in favour of Tomas Konecny.
At last at the 306th ITTF World Tour tournament, the first being the English Open in Kettering in 1996, the Czech Republic proudly owned a Men’s Singles winner, the name was Tomas Konecny, history maker!