Kirill Gerassimenko first at the ITTF World Tour Hungarian Open
Budapest (Hungary); January 19, 2017: The runner up one year ago when the tournament was also held in Budapest; one year later on Wednesday 18th January at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Hungarian Open, it was exactly the same outcome for Frenchman, Can Akkuzu.
In 2016 he was beaten by Korea’s Lim Jonghoon; now 12 months later, the top seed, his nemesis was Kirill Gerassimenko, the second seed, who by succeeding became the first player ever from Kazakhstan to appear in an ITTF World Tour final, let alone emerge as the champion.
After accounting for Slovenia’s Darko Jorgic, the no.3 seed at the semi-final stage (11-3, 11-5, 12-10, Can Akkuzu was beaten in the title deciding match by Kirill Gerassimenko in a full distance five games duel (17-15, 6-11, 6-11, 11-7, 15-13).
Earlier, in the penultimate round, Kirill Gerassimenko, advised throughout by Dimitrij Levenko, the father of Andreas Levenko, had accounted for Belgium’s Martin Allegro by the very narrowest of decisions (14-16, 12-10, 11-6, 10-12, 11-9).
“It was amazing to have my Dimitrij Levenko here with me all day; without him I would not have been able to win. He gave me support all day long; we worked great together as a team. In the last games I fought as hard as I could. I kept my focus on the tactics and I took my chances at the right time. We did it together it was perfect team work”, Kirill Gerassimenko.
The Under 21 Men’s Singles final: Can Akkuzu versus Kirill Gerassimenko
A first ever ITTF World Tour Under 21 Men’s Singles final for Kirill Gerassimenko; for Can Akkuzu it was a third. In 2016, in addition to being the runner up in Hungary, he had experienced the same fate in Poland when losing to Denmark’s Wang Zhixu.
Written by: an Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Photo credit: Richard Kalocsai