by Simon Daish
Georgina Pota had already picked up the Women’s Doubles gold medal earlier in the day with Russian partner Yulia Prokhorova, and was confident about her chances in the Women’s Singles having won her previous World Tour title in De Haan at the 2014 Belgium Open.
Japan’s Yui Hamamoto (third seed) was Georgina Pota’s (fourth seed) opponent in the 2016 Belgium Open final following her fifth game win over 2015 European champion Elizabeta Samara (Romania) in the semi-finals. Pota’s semi-finals match was also decided in five games with another Romanian player Bernadette Szocs ending up on the wrong end of the result.
While the result of 4-1 may look like a one-sided battle, the scorelines of each game in the final were actually very close. Georgina Pota took the lead early on in the tie, but a deuce victory in the second end put Yui Hamamoto back level with Pota after the opening two games.
Then came arguably the turning point of the match as Hamamoto surrendered a 3-8 lead in game three to restore Pota’s advantage, and from there onward it was one-way traffic. Hamamoto continued in her attempt to knock Pota off of her perch, but to no avail as the competitor from Hungary won two consecutive games to capture her second Women’s Singles award on the World Tour (11-9, 12-14, 11-9, 11-7, 11-9).
“What a fantastic tournament for me. I didn’t expect to win two titles. My form was good, but I knew that there were many good players competing here. During the week I played amazingly well and was able to win my matches rather easily. Now I have to prepare for the European Championships, but there are still a lot of other matches to play. If I want to come back in Belgium? Of course I always win here (laughs)” – Georgina Pota (Hungary).
Pota now has two ITTF World Tour Women’s Singles trophies to her name; can she now go on to replicate the sort success she achieved at Under 21 level (six World Tour golds) and retrieve more golds on the Senior World Tour stage?
Saturday 24th September: Women’s Singles – Main Draw