29 Apr 2017

They met in the Men’s Singles final at the European Championships in Stuttgart in 1992; on that occasion, with England’s Brian Watkins sitting proudly in the umpire’s chair, Germany’s Jörg Rosskopf beat Belgium’s Jean-Michel Saive to arrest the coveted title.

On Friday 28th April, some 25 years later, Jörg Rosskopf repeated the feat; in the final of the 2017 ITTF Legends Tour in Metz, he accounted for Jean-Michel Saive once again.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Turning back that sands of time, he emerged successful in a full distance five games encounter (8-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-9, 11-8).

Earlier at the semi-final stage Jörg Rosskopf had beaten Panagiotis Gionis of Greece (11-8, 8-11, 9-11, 11-6,11-6), the quarter-final winner in opposition to Frenchman, Christope Legout (11-9, 9-11, 11-9, 11-6).

“I’m very proud to be here amongst all these celebrated names”. Christophe Legout

Christophe Legout (left) against Panagiotis Gionis (right) commenced proceedings in Metz (Photo: (Photo: Christophe Neuville))

 

Defeat for Christophe Legout but he had his chances; the opening two games shared, he led 8-2 in the second before Panagiotis Gionis mounted a recovery.

“All the players were happy; Rossi played unbelievably well; when we play, we always have an open match which is good for the spectators. It was typically close, maybe I was too passive but I must give credit to Rossi; in the fifth game his backhand was quite incredible.” Jean-Michel Saive

Jörgen Persson beaten by Jean-Michel Saive at the semi-final stage (Photo: (Photo: Christophe Neuville)

 

Earlier Jean-Michel Saive had beaten Sweden’s Jörgen Persson (11-7, 11-9, 11-6), the quarter-final winner against China’s Jiang Jialiang (11-9, 9-11, 11-9, 11-6).

“Jörgen had a leg injury but I think it’s the best I’ve seen Jiang Jialiang play on the Legends Tour.” Jean-Michel Saive.

Jiang Jialiang gave his best performance to date on the ITTF Legends Tour (Photo: (Photo: Christophe Neuville))

 

An evening to remember and just one thought; in the German Men’s Team selection for the forthcoming Liebherr 2017 World Championships in Düsseldorf there is still one position to be filled.

Should Jörg Rosskopf select the player clearly in good form?

Fighting as hard as ever but runners up spot was his lot (Photo: Christophe Neuville)
2017 ITTF Legends - Metz ITTF Legends Tour Panagiotis Gionis Jörgen Persson Jean-Michel Saive jorg rosskopf Jiang Jialiang Christophe Legout