by Ian Marshall, Editor
Just one day short of his 15th birthday, an all Japanese cadet boys’ singles final witnessed success for Hayate Suzuki, at the expense of Roichi Yoshiyama (11-6, 11-6, 13-11) also born in 2004. In fact if he had been at home in Japan, taking time difference into account it was Hayate Suzuki’s birthday!
“It’s my first victory in an international open, so I’m delighted. In the final, we were two players with the same level but I really wanted to win, it was a very good fight. I played very well, especially from my backhand; I had practised that a lot. I wasn’t any more nervous than usual; I had a good mental approach.” Hayate Suzuki
Gold and silver for Japan, for Iran in the guise of Navid Shams it was bronze, as it was for Romania’s Eduard Ionescu. At the semi-final stage Navid Shams lost to Hayate Suzuki (8-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-1); Eduard Ionescu suffered at the hands of Roichi Yoshiyama (11-5, 11-8, 11-7).
Bronze for Europe thanks to the efforts of Eduard Ionescu; in the cadet boys’ doubles event it was even better news for the old continent, it was gold and silver. At the final hurdle the Czech Republic’s Simon Belik and Germany’s Mike Hollo joined forces to beat Russia’s Vladislav Makarov and Sergey Ryzhov (11-4, 11-4, 8-11, 3-11, 11-9).
Noteworthy performances but the most noteworthy of all was the success recorded by Sakura Yokoi; at the final hurdle she recovered from the precipice of defeat in the third game to beat the host nation’s Prithika Pavade (8-11, 8-11, 12-10, 11-3, 11-4), the player who on the second day of action had won the junior girls’ singles title.
“I was very nervous because it was a final and moreover, it was my first final in an international open. So, I had not much experience. After I lost the two first games, I didn’t think about the result of the match but only to win point by point. After winning the third game, I was more confident. The final was the most difficult match for me in the event, because it was a final.” Sakura Yokoi
Notably it was the second defeat of the day for Prithika Pavade when facing Sakura Yokoi; earlier in the afternoon in the final of the cadet girls’ doubles event, partnering Romania’s Elena Zaharia, it had been defeat against Sakura Yokoi and Kaho Akae, who likewise had been a member of the junior girls’ gold medal winning team the previous day.
Doubles finalists, they were also the cadet girls’ singles semi-finalists; in the penultimate round Sakura Yokoi had beaten colleague, Kaho Akae (15-13, 3-11, 11-7, 6-11, 11-7), Prithika Pavade had overcame Elena Zaharia (11-6, 11-6, 9-11, 7-11, 11-4).
Play concluded in Metz, now a short journey to Spa, the five day Belgium Junior and Cadet Open commences on Monday 15th April.