19 Feb 2017

Never afraid to show her feelings, Japan’s Sakura Mori won the Women’s Singles title at the Seamaster 2017 India Open in New Delhi on Sunday 19th February and in so doing enjoyed what was arguably the most successful tournament of her career, whilst also maintaining the very best traditions of Japanese excellence.

At the final hurdle, the no.6 seed, she accounted for Sweden’s Matilda Ekholm, the no.4 seed, to arrest the title in a full seven games duel (7-11, 11-5, 11-8, 12-10, 6-11, 8-11, 11-6).

By Neha Aggarwal & Ian Marshall

Success for Sakura Mori meant that she departed the Indian capital city with two titles to her credit; earlier in the week, she had won the Under 21 Women’s Singles event beating Hong Kong’s Minnie Soo Wai Yam in the final.

It was a win that undoubtedly gave Sakura Mori a major injection of confidence; Matilda Ekholm was very much a player in form. One week earlier she had used her skills to great effect to win the Women’s Singles title at the DHS Lausanne Open in Switzerland.

The efforts of Sakura Mori mean that in what is now 314 ITTF World Tour tournaments, players representing Japan have appeared in 60 Women’s Singles finals and have won on 34 occasions.

Furthermore, it was for Sakura Mori her first ever ITTF World Tour Women’s Singles final; thus she becomes the 17th Japanese player to secure such a title.

“I really thank the Indian fans for supporting me. It’s my first title and being in New Delhi, it’s been special. I am so happy!” – Sakura Mori

Meanwhile, for Matilda Ekholm, it was somewhat different; she is only the second player, representing Sweden to reach an ITTF World Tour Women’s Singles final.

In 2012, she won in Morocco beating Spain’s Sara Ramirez in the final, before in 2013 in Croatia experiencing defeat in the title decider when confronting Korea’s Lee Dasom.

Notably, the only other Swede to reach  an ITTF World Tour Women’s Singles final is Li Fen; in 2014, she won in Spain beating Japan’s Miu Hirano in the final.

World Tour Matilda Ekholm Sakura Mori

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