July 9, 2017

A historic 27th World Tour title for Vladimir Samsonov. (Photo: APAC Sport Media)

The Oceania region was home to the richest stop on the 2017 ITTF World Tour, as the Gold Coast hosted the Seamaster 2017 Australian Open.

Vladimir Samsonov (BLR) continued to write history as he was crowned Men’s Singles champion after defeating Simon Gauzy (FRA).

Before the tournament kicked off Samsonov said that he didn’t think he was a real chance for the title. Modesty? Or was just being a realist?

“Before the event I had a feeling I wasn’t in good form. But after the first game and the second game I kept playing better and better.” Vladimir Samsonov

The no.4 seed certainly hit his stride.

Gauzy tried to resist and came on to the court like a bull out of a gate. He led for the majority of the first game. But there was some hesitation as he had the chance to close it out. Samsonov brought the game to 10-10. Gauzy took the game but his confidence seemed diminished while the extra points meant the Belorussian had found his rhythm.

From then on in Samsonov was on the right side of all the points. Missing wasn’t an option.

In the fifth game the frustration from the Frenchman was visible as he kept coming up against brick wall blocks and blistering backhand counters

“I think today I played fantastically. It was a great match and tough game.” Vladimir Samsonov

After match point Samsonov leapt in to the air and roared. Winning title number 27 looked as sweet the first.

“Im 41 years old and I think that it’s great that I can still compete!” Vladimir Samsonov

Chen Meng takes the title in Australia and has her eyes firmly set on the future. (Photo: APAC Sport Media)

Meanwhile, Chen Meng (CHN) claimed the Women’s Singles title after defeating Wang Manyu (CHN) 4-2 in a tightly fought contest.

Wang took the opening game 11-3 and then led 10-8 in the second. But Chen manage to win four consecutive points. It was the start of a trend.

The audience suffered deja vu as the no.3 seed then dropped the third game 11-3 and once again Wang led in the following game but couldn’t close it out; 12-10 again for Chen Meng.

The more experienced player snuck had snuck two games past here opponent. Had any of them gone the other way you could be ready a very different story.

From then on it was one way traffic. Chen led in the fifth game 8-0, taking it 11-2.

The key seemed to be Chen Meng’s demeanour on the table. With her serve she ensured the match was played to her rhythm. With precise and deliberate preparation, she owned the court.

Wang called a timeout in the sixth down 3-1, but to no avail. The lead was maintained and Chen closed out the match 11-7.

With wave to the crowd and the hint of smile, the title was hers.

“Im very happy to get this win, I think it also important that both of us were able to present a spectacular game. Also, I think winning here could be turning point for me for my other matches.” Chen Meng

Presentations from the 2017 Australian Table Tennis Open, a round of the 2017 Seamaster ITTF World Tour Platinum. (Photo: APAC Sport Media)