Moregard caused a stir earlier in the Men’s Singles draw with victory over Nigerian number two seed Quadri Aruna in the quarter-finals. His opponent in the title decider was German qualifying hero Kilian Ort, who stunned England’s Liam Pitchford, the top seed, at the same hurdle. The final proved a topsy-turvy affair with momentum switching back and forth between the players, but after seven electrifying games, it was Moregard who celebrated a historic victory (9-11, 11-9, 12-10, 9-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-9).
Aged 19, Moregard becomes the second-youngest player to collect Men’s Singles gold at a WTT Series event behind Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto. Moregard is also the first Swede to win a singles title at an open international tournament since Anton Källberg at the 2019 ITTF Challenge Croatia Open.
“I should only play long matches, as this could be my main virtue! This victory shows that I am in a strong mental condition, so I can be proud of myself. I saw Kilian on YouTube; I tried to learn how he plays, but he surprised me with his tactics, and I was nervous at the beginning. That was a very difficult match and tournament in general, but now I am happy with this first place,” said Truls Moregard
Yang Xiaoxin was crowned Women’s Singles champion in Budapest following a devastating display against Elizabet Abraamian of Russia.
18-year-old Abraamian had caught the eye in the Hungarian capital with her incredible run from the qualifying rounds to the final. However, the teenager missed out on a dream finish as top seed Yang stormed to victory by a crushing 4-0 scoreline (11-9, 12-10, 11-6, 11-1).
Claiming her first WTT Series trophy, Yang has won three open international tournament titles in her career following previous successes at the 2014 ITTF World Tour Croatia Open and 2016 ITTF World Tour Czech Open.
“I could not perform my best in the first two games because I did not know my opponent. I needed a few hits to get used to her style, as I had no idea how she would react to my balls. But later, I was able to control the game. Of course, I am very happy, but it was a long tournament, and I played a lot of matches, so I am quite tired too,” said Yang Xiaoxin
Three additional finals were contested earlier in the day as the doubles events drew to an exciting conclusion.
India’s Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Manika Batra were presented with the Mixed Doubles trophy following their 3-1 victory over Hungarian opponents Nandor Ecseki and Dora Madarasz (11-9, 9-11, 12-10, 11-6). Making their international debut as a pair in Budapest, Ganansekaran and Batra’s success sees India claim its first-ever WTT title.
“I think we are the first winner of India in mixed doubles, so we can be really proud and happy now. We played really well. The mixed doubles is always a tricky one because you need to complement each other at the table, and we have a really good connection between us. We needed to be very intelligent and play with different strategies. We combined our hits very well, and that led to our success,” said Sathiyan Gnanasekaran
The Men’s Doubles title was won by Germany’s Tobias Hippler and Kilian Ort. Unseeded for the event, Hippler and Ort pulled off a significant upset in the final as they accounted for Russian number two seeds Kirill Skachkov and Vladimir Sidorenko 3-1 (11-3, 11-7, 6-11, 11-7).
“At the beginning, we struggled, but the second game was a little better. We have played against our opponents many times before, so we knew them and their skills. We are an effective duo, and that was the key to our success. We are really proud of ourselves, and I think we improved match by match. We are very happy with this victory,” said Tobias Hippler
There were also celebrations on a local level as Hungary’s very own Dora Madarasz and Szandra Pergel secured Women’s Doubles glory. Falling short in the Mixed Doubles final, Madarasz learnt the lessons of that experience and turned it to her advantage as she and Pergel, seeded second, cruised past Russian top seeds Olga Vorobeva and Yana Noskova 3-0 (11-7, 11-6, 11-6).
“I think we dominated them during the final. In the third game, I thought that we must win this encounter as we were the better duo today. I had the advantage from playing in the mixed doubles as I got used to the harder hits. Due to this, I felt more comfortable at the table against our Russian opponents,” said Dora Madarasz
WTT Contender Budapest is a fourth-tier event within the WTT Series structure. It offers a total prize purse of US$75,000 and 400 ITTF Table Tennis World Ranking Points across men’s and women’s singles and doubles and mixed doubles competitions.
About WTT Contender Series
The WTT Contender Series, with its distinctive black and blue branding, features two event tiers – WTT Star Contender and WTT Contender. Players will battle it out for ITTF Table Tennis World Ranking points, as up-and-coming stars of the sport also look to rise up the ladder.
WTT Contender Series events will be the heartbeat of the WTT Series and provide a critical pathway for players to progress through the rankings and the new structure into WTT Champions and Grand Smash events.
WTT Contender events will deliver four days of action, with each event featuring men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles and mixed doubles competitions
About World Table Tennis
Successfully launched in 2021, WTT heralds a new era for professional table tennis with the new WTT Series showcasing the sport’s best and up-and-coming table tennis players in up to 34 events worldwide. The WTT Series features four Grand Smashes as the pillars of the support. Eight single-table, single-gender WTT Champions events, the WTT Contender Series and the season-ending WTT Cup Finals, all of which will entertain fans and inspire future generations of table tennis players. Complemented by the global WTT Youth Series and WTT Feeder Series, WTT creates a pathway that showcases a player’s journey from day one to World No. 1 through the ITTF Table Tennis World Rankings. For more information, please visit worldtabletennis.com.