The day started with a major upset at the Chile Open 2011. In the Women's Singles Semifinals, Yoon Sun Ae from Korea beat current world #10 and second seeded Sayaka Hirano by 4-3 after reverting a 1-3 against her. This set her in place to face top seeded Kasumi Ishikawa, who defeated her compatriot Misaki Morizono by an easy 4-0, at the Women Singles finals later.
Meanwhile in the Men's draw, first and second seeded Chuang Chih-Yuan and veteran Liu Song from Argentina, beat top brazilians Hugo Hoyama and Gustavo Tsuboi respectively, to earn their tickets to the Men's Singles finals. Chinese-born Liu Song was showing a really great form despite being 39 years old, and thanks to his precise forehand attacks and backhand defense got a place to fight for the title in Singles and Doubles competitions.
Similarly bad result was the one got by Brazilian pair Eric Mancini / Cazuo Matsumoto who were crushed by Argentina's Javier Cillis / Liu Song, in a table tennis edition of the famous Argentina vs Brazil football derby. Liu Song lead his pair to a clear victory by 4-0 in the Men's Doubles final, where the advantage of the Argentine duo was never really challenged by the guys from the country of Samba and "fuchibol".
In the Women's Doubles finals, the Indian duo of Shamini Kumaresan and Madhurika Patkar tried to challege the power of Kasumi Ishikawa and Sayaka Hirano but the effort was futile: the japanese simply crushed with them by 4-0 (11-4, 11-8, 11-5, 11-4) and got the Women's Doubles title.
After the doubles finals it was time for the main 2 matches of the tournament: the singles finals.
Kasumi Ishikawa 4 - 3 Yoon Sun Ae (10-12, 11-3, 11-3, 11-13, 11-7, 7-11, 11-6)
The final match of the Women's Singles competition was a very though one. Although there's a lot of difference in ranking between Kasumi Ishikawa and Yoon Sun Ae, the Korea fought very hard for her chance to win the title opposing a terrific defense to the Japanese.
In the first set the forces were even, but Yoon Sun Ae show more determination at the end and took it by 10-12. Then it was the turn of Ishikawa who decided to take back the control of the match by playing very aggresively against her defensive opponent, which leave Yoon without too many chances to fight for the 2nd and 3rd where Ishikawa won by 11-3. In the 4th, Yoon Sun Ae took advantage of some unforced errors and excessive caution by Kasumi which allowed her to seize the set by 11-13. Then the eleventh player in the world came back to the match and with the same aggresive style took a very early advantage and administered it through the set to win it by 11-7.
Kasumi was leading 3-2 but Yoon Sun Ae won't give up. She came back to the 5th and quickly gained an advantage big enough to just manage it through the rest of the set, thanks to some unforced errors by Ishikawa, winning it by 11-7. In the final set, Ishikawa showed great determination to win and Yoon Sun Ae looked very nervous. The Korean tried really hard to give her best and caught up with the early advantage won by the Japanese but her chops were just not working good enough missing the table or hitting the net. It was because of this that Yoon looked a bit dissapointed and lowered the intensity which allowed Ishikawa to take the 7th, the match and the championship by 11-6.
This is the 2nd time Kasumi Ishikawa wins an ITTF Pro-Tour competition, being the previous one Morocco Open 2011. At the end she looked very happy after winnin her 2nd title in this tournament.
"After losing the U21 semifinals I was very eager to recover myself and today I could do it thanks to my victory in Doubles and Singles." said the newly crowned Chile Open champion to FECHITEME.cl, the official website of the Chile Table Tennis Federation.
Chuang Chih-Yuan 4 - 3 Liu Song (9-11, 6-11, 12-14, 11-9, 11-7, 13-11, 11-3)
More than 1,000 gathered to watch the final match of Men's singles competition between world #12 and first seeded Chuang Chih-Yuan and Chinese-born Argentine Liu Song. And they surely didn't leave dissapointed as they were witness of a terrific match.
In the first set, the star of Levallois entered the game very concentrated to take an early advantage but found a wall on Liu Song: the Argentine defender played very smart forcing pace changes, long points and attacking with his forehand as much as he could. This strategy proved very hard to be followed by Chuang so Liu Song got an advantage of 3-0 (9-11, 6-11, 12-14).
It looked like Liu Song was ready to get crowned as the Male Singles champion. He was just 11 points away of the trophy but the #12 of the world put all his credentials in the table and with a very aggresive play style was able to shorten the distance to only 2-3.
In the sixth set, things were leveled with both players taking advantage at different but it was Liu Song who got to the decisive 10th point first. It was Championship point for the Argentine at 9-10 but Chuag Chih-Yuan was decided not to lost all the effort he went through to level the score and was indeed able to do it by winning the set 13-11.
The hit of being at the edge of getting the title but not being able to do it proved to hard for Liu: in the seventh and decisie set he couldn't cope with Chuang's aggresive attacks and surrendered by a meager 11-3. The Chinese Taipei player was the champion!
"Every final is exciting and this one wasn't an exception. I have played against Liu Song many times and I also won in the last one. This time it took me some time to get used to the pace but at the end I could recover myself and win the match" said Chuang Chih-Yuan to FECHITEME.cl after winning the Men's Singles title.
Photo source: fechiteme.cl