19 Jan 2017

The runner up one year ago when the tournament was also held in Budapest; one year later on Wednesday 18th January at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Hungarian Open, it was exactly the same outcome for Frenchman, Can Akkuzu.

In 2016 he was beaten by Korea’s Lim Jonghoon; now 12 months later, the top seed, his nemesis was Kirill Gerassimenko, the second seed, who by succeeding became the first player ever from Kazakhstan to appear in an ITTF World Tour final, let alone emerge as the champion.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

After accounting for Slovenia’s Darko Jorgic, the no.3 seed at the semi-final stage (11-3, 11-5, 12-10, Can Akkuzu was beaten in the title deciding match by Kirill Gerassimenko in a full distance five games duel (17-15, 6-11, 6-11, 11-7, 15-13).

Earlier, in the penultimate round, Kirill Gerassimenko, advised throughout by Dimitrij Levenko, the father of Andreas Levenko, had accounted for Belgium’s Martin Allegro by the very narrowest of decisions (14-16, 12-10, 11-6, 10-12, 11-9).

“It was amazing to have my Dimitrij Levenko here with me all day; without him I would not have been able to win. He gave me support all day long; we worked great together as a team. In the last games I fought as hard as I could. I kept my focus on the tactics and I took my chances at the right time.  We did it together it was perfect team work”, Kirill Gerassimenko.

The Under 21 Men’s Singles final: Can Akkuzu versus Kirill Gerassimenko
A first ever ITTF World Tour Under 21 Men’s Singles final for Kirill Gerassimenko; for Can Akkuzu it was a third. In 2016, in addition to being the runner up in Hungary, he had experienced the same fate in Poland when losing to Denmark’s Wang Zhixu.

Success for the second seed against the top seed; in the final of the Under 21 Women’s Singles event it was the reverse scenario.

In an all Singaporean final, Zeng Jian overcame Lin Ye to arrest the title (11-8, 11-7, 11-7), a competition in which matters when very much according to status. At the semi-final stage Lin Ye had beaten Germany’s Nina Mittelham, the no.3 seed, in a tense five games encounter decided by the minimal two point margin (11-4, 11-13, 11-8, 9-11, 12-10); rather more comfortably Zeng Jian had accounted for Romania’s Adina Diaconu, the no.4 seed (11-5, 13-11, 11-1).

“My game improved throughout day; it got better and better. My backhand was really strong in the end and that gave me the edge in the final. I played really well in the final; for the future, I will try hard to improve more”, Zeng Jian.

It was the seventh time that Zeng Jian and Lin Ye had reached an ITTF World Tour Under 21 Women’s Singles final but the first time they had been adversaries in the title deciding contest.

The Under 21 Women’s Singles final: Zeng Jian versus Lin Ye
Last year Zeng Jian won in China, Japan and Qatar, whilst being the runner up in Poland; one year earlier in 2015 she had been the silver medallist in Kuwait and Japan.

Notably, the record of Lin Ye is very similar. In 2013 she succeeded in Poland, the following year in the Philippines before in 2015 securing the top step of the podium in the Czech Republic.

Meanwhile, in both 2014 and 2015, she was the silver medallist in Doha, as well as in the latter year in Belgium. In Budapest it was same again.

Kalocsai Richard
Zeng Jian, winner of the Under 21 Women’s Singles title (Photo: Richard Kalocsai)


World Tour 2017 Hungarian Open Kirill Gerassimenko

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