28 Aug 2016

A third round exit in Poland when beaten by Germany’s Bastian Steger, his best of the year, a semi-final farewell in Belarus in 2009 when losing to Serbia Zsolt Peto, the best of his career; on Sunday 28th August in Panagyurishte, Tomas Konecny climbed to new heights.

Occupying the no.3 seeded position in the competition, he won the Men’s Singles title at the Asarel 2016 ITTF Bulgaria Open, beating Frenchman Quinton Robinot, the no.8 seed, in the final (11-9, 11-9, 11-3, 12-10) to not only achieve a major milestone in his career but also to etch a landmark in the history of sport in the Czech Republic.

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.

Third player

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.

Honours even

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

History maker

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!


World Tour Bulgaria Open Quentin Robinot Tomas Konecny