Belarus’ Vladimir Samsonov won his 27th International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Tour title today after beating France’s Simon Gauzy in the final of the Australian Open in Gold Coast.
The 41-year-old registered a 11-13, 11-8, 11-5, 11-8, 11-8 win over his French opponent, competing in his first-ever ITTF World Tour final at the Carrara Indoor Sports Stadium.
Victory extended Samsonov’s lead at the top of the standings for all-time ITTF World Tour triumphs, with reigning Olympic champion Ma Long of China currently his nearest challenger on 24.
It also means that the Belarusian is the first-ever player to win an ITTF World Tour event on every continent.
"Before the event I had a feeling I wasn’t in good form," Samsonov said.
"But after the first game and the second game I kept playing better and better.
"I think today I played fantastically and I am so happy to get the title in Australia.
"It was a great match and a tough game."
In the women’s final, China’s Chen Meng defeated younger team-mate Wang Manyu 3-11, 12-10, 3-11, 12-10, 11-2, 11-7 to secure her second ITTF World Tour crown of the year.
"I’m very happy to get this win," the world number four said.
"I think it was important that both of us were able to present a spectacular game.
"I think winning here could be a turning point for me for my other matches.
"This could be a new beginning."
Chen also got the better of Wang in an all-Chinese women’s doubles final of this ITTF World Tour Platinum event.
She partnered Zhu Yuling to an 11-8, 11-9, 11-7 victory over Wang and Chen Xingtong.
The men’s doubles title went the way of South Korea’s Jang Woojin and Park Ganghyeon, who overcame Chinese Taipei’s Chen Chien-An and Chiang Hung-Chieh 11-2, 11-13, 11-5, 11-6 in the final.
The ITTF World Tour is due to continue next month with the Bulgaria Open in Panagyurishte scheduled to start on August 17.