by Simon Daish
Dropping just the one game across his quarter-final and semi-final encounters against Tunisia’s Youssef Ben Attia (11-5, 11-7, 4-11, 11-9) and India’s Deepit Patil (11-3, 11-4, 11-7), Rassenfosse set up a title clash with fellow Belgian Louis Laffineur. Two players who know each other well, Rassenfosse and Laffineur battle it out for national glory in a pulsating final. After five riveting games, Rassenfosse emerged victorious (11-8, 11-13, 11-8, 11-13, 11-6).
“Every event is really difficult, no matter how the competition goes. I had revenge on my mind here in this hall after finishing in second place the last time I was here, so I’m really happy and proud to bring the victory home,” said Rassenfosse
The Under 15 Boys’ Singles title also went to the highest-ranked entry as India’s Preyesh Suresh Raj proved a class above the playing field.
Powering past Qatar’s Rawad Alnaser (11-5, 11-5, 11-9) and Yemen’s Ebrahim Abdulhakim Gubran (11-8, 11-4, 8-11, 11-7), Suresh Raj was the player to beat. Ultimately, no one could stop him in his tracks. Meeting Ankur Bhattacharjee in an all-India final, Suresh Raj produced yet another strong performance (11-8, 15-13, 11-13, 11-9) to put the title contest beyond any doubt.
“I had a relatively easy draw up until the semi-finals, where I felt much more pressure. I want to play better and improve my game. I focused very hard on the mental game; I get angry very easily, so I tried to stay calm. I knew that if I stayed calm, I would be able to play my best in every point,” said Suresh Raj
India also emerged as the winning nation in the Under 11 Boys’ Singles event, with Vishruth Ramakrishnan taking the plaudits. Ramakrishnan fought back from 1-2 down to triumph over Nigeria’s Musa Mustapha 3-2 in an end-to-end semi-final (8-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-7, 11-9). Then, with the crowd’s eyes fixed firmly on him, the young Indian rose to the occasion at the final hurdle as he upset local hero Amir Essid 3-0 (11-4, 11-3, 11-7).
“I’m delighted to win this tournament. The final was a little bit easier than the semi-final, as I only won 3-2 in the semi-final. In the semi-final, I won a lot of service points. I was a little scared because I wanted to reach the final. If I receive entry, my next tournament will be in Oman, where I want to win both the Under 11 and Under 13 titles,” said Ramakrishnan