MS - Finals : TSUNEYAMA stop CHOU from being crowned again !
The 2021 French Open final was opposing CHOU Tien Chen (world no 4, Chinese Taipei) to Kanta TSUNEYAMA (world no 13, Japan). Concerning their previous matches in the tournament, the number 4 seed already had two epic battles (the one in round of 8 against Brice LEVERDEZ and another in quarter final against Kenta NISHIMOTO), however he had an easier semifinal since he won in 2 straight sets. On his side, Kanta TSUNEYAMA created the surprise by winning the seeded number 8 NG Ka Long Angus in the round of 8. Yesterday, he had a tougher match than his today opponent since he was facing the world number 1 Kento MOMOTA and the match last more than an hour even though the world champion retired at the end of the second set.
CHOU was perfect in the first set…
In 6 confrontations, TSUNEYAMA only defeated CHOU once, even if the last time the met on court, it was for a 1h22 fight during the 2020 All England that was won by the Taiwanese. Difficult for both of the players to cleanly start the match with 4 faults with the shuttle escaping the back line. Since 5/5, the players stayed very close at the scoreboard with not less than 8 ties in a row up to 12/12. It is then the Taiwanese who took a 2-point-advantage. The world number 4 used a lot of trick shots to delay his challenger, especially when playing at the net. He continued to play that way and offered himself 6 opportunities to take the opening game. The world number 13 saved the first but the “Chouchou” of Paris did not miss the following one : 21/15.
… but TSUNEYAMA was even better in the next 2 ones
TSUNEYAMA strongly started the next set, sometimes with a little bit of luck. He was ahead 11/6 at the interval. Then, he scored 7 points in a row taking a 12 points advantage 18/6. Hence, it did not take long for the Japanese to conclude the second set : 21/8. Terrific smashes from CHOU as soon as the deciding game began enabling him to lead 5/3 then 8/5. But TSUEYAMA is tireless, he pushed the number 4 seed always to play one more shuttle. He took the lead at the interval : 11/10. He mentally won the title thanks to 2 defenses coming from another galaxy at 18/16 then 19/16. Beautiful end for the 25-year-old player who was crowned : 15/21 21/8 21/17. After the match, the young champion was over the moon : “I was aware it was the first time for a Japanese player to win the French Open. So happy that I am able to make history and hopefully I will continue to do so. At the end, it was not a physical question, it was all about the mental. My body just had to follow my will to win”.
Congratulations to the new king of Coubertin !