It took top seed Dmitrij Ovtcharov less than 20 minutes to cross the final hurdle posed by third seed Seo Hyun Deok on way to the Indian Open crown and his maiden title on the ITTF Pro Tour here on Sunday.
The 22-year-old from Germany was simply flawless as he ruthlessly demolished the world number 38 from Korea with a 11-4, 11-9, 11-2, 11-5 scoreline. Ovtcharov, who ended Sharath Kamal's remarkable run in the first semifinal this morning, collected $12,800 as did the ladies singles winner Japanese second seed Sayaka Hirano.
The ladies final saw Sayaka score a surprisingly easy straight-game victory over top seed Yu Mengyu. The Singapore girl, looking for a ‘double' here after having justified her billing in the girls' under-21 section, made too many unforced errors to be of any threat to Sayaka. This was Sayaka's third ITTF Pro Tour event having won earlier in Serbia (2006) and Germany (2009).
Seo Hyun Deok, who partnered Lee Sang Su to the doubles title at the expense of top seeds Gao Ning and Yang Zi, had knocked out former champion and second seed Gao Ning in the semifinals.
In the first semifinal, Ovtcharov stopped Sharath in 25 minutes. The lanky Indian, who dwarfed two higher ranked players on way to the semifinals, came to the arena to make a match of it, but Ovtcharov just did not let him. He shifted gears from being sleepy in the first two games to turning speedy in the last two. The score-line of 11-4, 11-6, 11-8, 11-4 clearly reflected the difference between the players.
“I know Sharath is very good with an open ball. I made sure he didn't get it too often. I kept my returns close to his body and rest was easy,” he said.
Sharath said, “He simply did not allow me to find my rhythm,” and continued, “For someone ranked 13th in the world, Ovtcharov may not have too many strokes but he is very effective.”
Ovtcharov established early leads in all the games, the biggest being the 8-0 lead in the fourth. Only in the third, Sharath seemed to be running the top seed close but Ovtcharov stayed ahead. But looking at his overall performance, Sharath had reasons to hold his head high. Apart from collecting $3,200 plus a share of $700 for making the doubles semifinals,
Men singles, final: Dimitrij Ovtcharov (Ger) bt Seo Hyun Deok (Kor) 11-4, 11-9, 11-2, 11-5.
Semifinals: Ovtcharov bt A. Sharath Kamal (Ind) 11-4, 11-6, 11-8, 11-4; Seo Hyun Deok (Kor) bt Gao Ning (Sin) 7-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-8, 15-17, 11-9, 11-6.
Women singles, final: Sayaka Hirano (Jpn) bt Yu Mengyu (Sin) 11-7, 11-6, 11-8, 11-7.
Semifinals: Yu Mengyu bt Huang Yi-Hua (Tpe) 11-7, 11-5, 11-8, 11-5; Sayaka Hirano (Jpn) bt Hwang Ji Na (Kor) 9-11, 11-8, 15-13, 12-10, 11-5.
Men doubles, final: Lee Sang Su and Seo Hyun Deok (Kor) bt Gao Ning and Yang Yi (Sin) 13-11, 14-12, 11-9, 4-11, 6-11, 11-9.
Women doubles, final: Cheng I Ching and Huang Yi-Hua (Tpe) bt Li Jiao and Li Jie (Ned) 11-8, 14-12, 6-11, 12-10, 11-4, 11-6.
Boys' under-21, final: Kenji Matsudaira (Jpn) bt Chen Chien-An (Tpe) 11-4, 14-16, 11-5, 11-6, 11-7.
Girls' under-21, final: Yu Mengyu (Sin) bt Kasumi Ishikawa (Jpn) 11-6, 11-5, 12-14, 11-6, 11-8.