Olomouc, September 03, 2012: A bleak spell came to an end for Germany’s Christian SUSS and Austria’s LIU Jia in the Moravian city of Olomouc on Sunday 2nd September. Christian SUSS captured the Men’s Singles title at the GAC GROUP 2012 ITTF World Tour Czech Open, Austria’s LIU Jia secured the counterpart Women’s Singles crown.
It was for the German his first ever Men’s Singles title on Tour and ended what has been a torturous 20 months. In January 2011 he stood at no.19 on the World rankings but injury forced an absence from international play; by the time the tournament in Olomouc had started he had slumped to no.52.
Similarly for LIU Jia, the win ended a disappointing run; in five previous appearances on the GAC GROUP World Tour in 2012, she had never ventured beyond the second round and her last Women’s Singles title on Tour was as far back as 2008, when she won at the German Open.
At the semi-final stage Christian SUSS, the no.7 seed, beat Japan’s Taku TAKAKIWA, the no.5 seed, before overcoming Korea’s JEONG Sangeun, the no.10 seed, in the final. Fine performances from Christian SUSS and it was the same from LIU Jia; she occupied the no.4 seeded spot in the draw.
She ended the hopes of the host nation in the semi-finals by beating Iveta VACENOVSKA, the no.9 seed, before clinching the title at the final expense of Japan’s Misako WAKAMIYA, the no 8 seed.
Disappoint for Misako WAKAMIYA but there was success; earlier in the day she had won the Women’s Doubles title with Hiroko FUJII.
Seeded no.1, the pair overcame Korea’s PARK Youngsook and YANG Haeun in the final. A silver medal for Korea but there was gold; LEE Sangsu and SEO Hyundeok beat Sweden’s Kristian KARLSSON and Mattias KARLSSON to claim the Men’s Doubles top prize.
Semi-Final: JEONG Sangeun (KOR) bt Yuto MURAMATSU (JPN) 11-8, 11-8, 10-12, 11-4, 7-11, 11-1
Semi-Final: Christian SUSS (GER) bt Taku TAKAKIWA (JPN) 6-11, 11-6, 11-3, 11-3, 9-11, 12-10
Final: Christian SUSS (GER) bt JEONG Sangeun (KOR) 11-9, 11-13, 11-5, 11-7, 13-11
Semi-Final: Misako WAKAMIYA (JPN) bt Haruna FUKUOKA (JPN) 7-11, 11-13, 11-3, 11-2, 11-6, 11-5
Semi-Final: LIU Jia (AUT) bt Iveta VACENOVSKA (CZE) 9-11, 11-5, 8-11, 11-8, 12-14, 11-4, 11-7
Final: LIU Jia (AUT) bt Misako WAKAMIYA (JPN) 10-12, 11-5, 11-8, 11-9, 8-11, 11-2
Final: LEE Sangsu / SEO Hyundeok (KOR) bt Kristian KARLSSON / Mattias KARLSSON (SWE) 11-9, 11-5, 11-4, 7-11, 8-11, 9-11, 11-4
Final: Hiroko FUJII / Misako WAKAMIYA (JPN) bt PARK Youngsook / YANG Haeun (KOR) 11-8, 11-4, 11-7, 11-7. —- ITTF/ Photo by Frantisek Zalewsky