Cazuo Matsumoto Creates History in Almeria

Almeria, Jan 22, 2013: Brazil’s Cazuo MATSUMOTO won the Men’s Singles title at the ITTF World Tour 2013 Spanish Open in Almeria on Sunday 20th January and in so doing wrote his name indelibly into the history books of sport.

The 27 year old from São Paulo, who had never previously progressed beyond the semi-final stage, not only became the first Brazilian to secure a prestigious ITTF World Tour title, as the competition enters its 18th year, he became the first Latin American player to achieve the feat.

In the final, he overcame the more experienced 39 year old Frenchman, Christophe LEGOUT, a player who had contested four previous ITTF World Tour Men’s Singles finals; notably winning on home soil in Lyon in 1997.

Cazuo MATSOMOTO won in five games having at the quarter-final stage against Portugal’s André SILVA and in the penultimate round in opposition to the host nation’s Marc DURAN, recovered from the very precipice of defeat.

Meanwhile, the Women’s Singles title was clinched by JIANG Huajun of Hong Kong; she accounted for Sweden’s Matilda EKHOLM in her semi-final duel and Spain’s SHEN Yanfei in the final.

Both were somewhat unexpected wins when recent encounters were taken into consideration. In early November at the GAC GROUP 2012 ITTF World Tour German Open, JIANG Huajun had been beaten by SHEN Yanfei in four straight games; soon after at the GAC GROUP 2012 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals in Hangzhou, JIANG Huajun had suffered defeat by same margin against Matilda EKHOLM.

In Almeria, she turned the tables.

Men’s Singles: Semi-Finals:

Cazuo MATSUMOTO (BRA) bt Marc DURAN (ESP) 11-5, 12-10, 7-11, 5-11, 11-13, 13-11, 11-6

Christophe LEGOUT (FRA) bt Hampus NORDBERG (SWE) 8-11, 11-4, 11-3, 11-4, 12-10


Cazuo MATSUMOTO (BRA) bt Christophe LEGOUT (FRA) 11-7, 11-6, 11-9, 8-11, 11-5

Women’s Singles: Semi-Finals:

SHEN Yanfei (ESP) bt LEE Ho Ching (HKG) 11-8, 11-6, 11-7, 6-11, 12-10

JIANG Huajun (HKG) bt Matilda EKHOLM (SWE) 11-3, 11-3, 11-2, 11-5


JIANG Huajun (HKG) bt SHEN Yanfei (ESP) 11-9, 11-7, 9-11, 11-9, 11-6 —- ITTF/ Photo by Pablo Rubio.

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