Thursday, April 3, 2014
Shan Xiaona triumphant, but spotlight on Steffen Mengel
German Open 2014 in Magdeburg
Last Sunday, the German Open 2014 came to a close in the GETEC Arena. Magdeburg was a tournament full of surprise success and titles for the Butterfly players.
The freshly crowned German national champion Shan Xiaona showed off her good form in style. The 31 year-old was tested three times against a defensive player, and emerged victorious each time, demonstrating her aggressive yet thought-out play against defence. She defeated her teammate and compatriot Irene Ivancan in the Round of 16 in a close game with 4:3. After her quarter finals against Georgina Pota (4:1), Shan yet again had to face a defensive player from Germany. This time, it was Han Ying, whom she closely defeated in the finals of the German national Championshipst, a game that went into expedite mode. In Magdeburg though, she posted a victory over Han with 4:1. In the finals Shan faced the World ranked No 9, Korean player Seo Hyowon. It was a fantastic match, which saw Shan Xiaona firmly in charge of the game, she won the first game 18:16 and then never let go of her grip on the opponent. 4:0 was the final verdict on the match, Shan Xiaona emerged triumphant.
For the 19 year old Butterfly player Sofia Polcanova, the German Open became somewhat of a breakthrough. The world ranked 60th player beat in a row three opponents ranked significantly higher (Yang Haeun, ranked 20, Margaryta Pesotska (WR 47) and Misaki Morizono (WR 40), proving her great development and maturity in her gameplay. Her journey ended in the semi-finals, where she was defeated by the world ranked No. 9 player from Korea, Seo Hyowon.
Looking at the men’s singles competition, it was surely the German player Steffen Mengel, who received the most attention. The 26 year-old played on a very