by Ian Marshall, Editor
Meanwhile, in an era when the sport becomes ever faster two defenders prevailed, Japan’s Hitomi Sato won the women’s singles title.
…………Ruwen Filus, the no.3 seed beat Korea Republic qualifier, Seo Hyundeok in the final (11-6, 7-11, 11-8, 11-8, 9-11, 11-8), after at semi-final stage having ousted Frenchman, Andrea Landrieu, the no.10 seed (11-8, 11-9, 11-9, 5-11, 10-12, 11-8).
…………It was one step higher for Ruwen Filus who had been the runner up on the ITTF World Tour in Belarus in 2015; for Seo Hyundeok, the same outcome, his one previous final was in 2010 in India when also he lost to a German, on that occasion he was beaten by Dimitrij Ovtcharov.
…………Hitomi Sato, the top seed, emerged the winner but she did things the hard way. At the semi-final stage she beat Honoka Hashimoto, the no.3 seed in seven games (8-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-4, 11-5, 11-3, 11-9), before in an equally testing final against a further Japanese colleague, Saki Shibata, the no.2 seed she repeated the feat (5-11, 11-5, 9-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-7).
…………Success for Hitomi Sato meant she won her fourth ITTF Challenge Series women’s singles title to add to the one success on the ITTF World Tour when she won in Croatia in 2016.
…………Ruwen Filus and Steffen Mengel, the no.5 seeds, beat Chinese Taipei’s Feng Yu-Hsin and Wang Tai-Wei, the no.8 seeds, to secure the title. They won in five games (11-7, 8-11, 12-10, 7-11, 11-5).
…………Previously partnering Ricardo Walther, Ruwen Filus had appeared in three ITTF World Tour men’s doubles finals; always he had been the runner up.
…………Satsuki Odo and Saki Shibata, the no.2 seeds, beat Japanese national team colleagues and qualifiers, Ayane Morita and Yuka Umemura (11-6, 12-10, 11-4) at the final hurdle.
…………Thus they secured their second ITTF Challenge Series women’s doubles title of the year, the third of their career. Earlier this year they won in Oman, last year they succeeded in Belarus and Belgium.