by Simon Daish
Victorious earlier in the day, beating top seed Liao Cheng-Ting in the last four, Mizuki Oikawa went on to finish his day out in Otocec with a stylish six games victory in the title match (15-13, 2-11, 11-5, 10-12, 11-9, 13-11).
Competing in their first head-to-head encounter, the battle between Mizuki Oikawa and Lubomir Pistej was a difficult one to predict: On paper the 14th seeded Slovak competitor went into the match as the favourite but in somewhat of a shock twist it was the lower seeded Mizuki Oikawa who came out on top.
Both finalists approached the match with a positive mindset and with the scores level at two games apiece there was very little between Mizuki Oikawa and Lubomir Pistej heading into the business end of the tie.
The tight nature of the opening four ends was carried over into games five and six but for the first time in the final Mizuki Oikawa managed to string two consecutive game wins together to seal his first Men’s Singles title.
Next up on the ITTF Challenge Series is a stop off in Zagreb for the 2018 ITTF Challenge Croatia Open from Tuesday 10th to Sunday 14th April.