by Simon Daish
22-year-old Yuya Oshima now has two World Tour Men’s Singles gold medals for his collection, after adding the 2016 Swedish Open trophy to the Singles title he picked up at the 2015 Philippines Open.
The Swedish crowd were hoping to see Mattias Karlsson win his first Men’s Singles gold, following his tremendous semi-finals result against the No.1 seed Dimitrij Ovtcharov. But alas it was not to be for the home fans as Karlsson fell victim to a 4-2 defeat at the hands of Yuya Oshima in the 2016 Swedish Open final.
There was very much a sense of déjà vu for the majority of the final, as each of the opening five game wins were won either by an 11-8 or 7-11 scoreline. Oshima took the early lead in the tie after a positive showing in the opening game, however, with the backing of the crowd Karlsson levelled the match at 1-1 with his success in the second end.
Then a similar pattern followed for the next two games with Oshima reclaiming a one game advantage, only for Karlsson to once again draw the scores level with another 7-11 win in game four.
With the match score sitting all-square at two games apiece the final was still wide open for either athlete to take the victory, and despite Oshima going on to claim the fifth end the Swedish spectators were still confident about seeing their player succeed as Karlsson raced into a 5-9 lead in game six.
Yet there would be no seventh game required to find a winner in Stockholm: Oshima made a fantastic recovery to break Swedish hearts with a 4-2 victory going to the Japanese contestant (11-8, 7-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-8, 13-11).
“This is my best performance ever. I’m very glad with this result. Karlsson was really good so I had to play really good to beat him. We had met one time before and I beat him then so I had some tactics already in plan before the game on how to play. I managed to receive his serve very well, that was the key and following it up with my forehand” – Yuya Oshima (Japan) after beating Mattias Karlsson in the 2016 Swedish Open final.
Yuya Oshima won the Under 21 Men’s Singles gold at the 2015 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals in Lisbon, and now one year on the Japanese star can expect to receive an invitation for the Men’s Singles category at the Seamaster, Qatar 2016 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals in Doha which will take place in December.
Sunday 20th November: Men’s Singles – Main Draw