Antoine Hachard Adds to Title Haul, Argentine Recovery Thwarted
2016 ITTF World Tour Chile Open
Courtesy of ITTF
Winner earlier in the afternoon of the Men’s Doubles title when he partnered colleague Romain Ruiz to success, Antoine Hachard added to his collection at the 2016 ITTF World Tour Chile Open in Santiago by reserving the top step of the podium in the Men’s Singles event.
Success but the 22-year-old Frenchman, the top seed, was tested Argentina’s Gaston Alto, the no.3 seed; he needed the full seven games to ensure victory (115, 5-11, 11-3, 11-6, 8-11, 7-11, 11-7).
“I’m very happy, it’s my first win at an ITTF World Tour tournament”, said Antoine Hachard. “It was very stressful, my first final and my first title, it was a very tough match.”
Antoine Hachard made the better start, he established a three games to one lead and appeared to be en route to a relatively comfortable victory; Gaston Alto had other ideas.
“In the early part of the match I was aggressive and I was able to block the ball well, especially from the backhand where I could play fast”, explained Antoine Hachard. “I kept changing my services and that caused him problems; however, after the fourth game he served short to my forehand and then sometimes long to my backhand, I made mistakes and became more passive.”
Gaston Alto won the fifth and sixth games, a deciding seventh game beckoned.
“The last game, the last game in the tournament, I cannot say that I was really confident but I was ready, I felt fine”, continued Antoine Hachard. “I tried to be aggressive and I played down the parallel more.”
Success for Antoine Hachard who was quick to acknowledge he had beaten a most worthy opponent.
“He was good with his topspin play, he was good in the rallies; certainly it was tiring playing against him”, explained Antoine Hachard. “I think today overall, one of the reasons I won was that my forehand was very effective.”
A hard fought success and one he will always remember; a milestone in his career.
“I want to dedicate this win to my psychologist Françoise Ducasse who died a few days ago”, said Antoine Hachard in a thoughtful tone of voice. “Now I go to the French Championship in singles and doubles, I need to prepare myself for that.”
Victory in Santiago means that he is the fourth Frenchman to win an ITTF World Tour Men’s Singles title; he joins Christophe Legout who won in 1997, Damien Eloi one year later and Abdel-Kader Salifou who succeeded on no less than three occasions in 2013.
Meanwhile for Gaston Alto, it was the second defeat of the day against Antoine Hachard; having earlier in the afternoon being required to settle for the silver medal with Pablo Tabachnik in the Men’s Doubles final.
“He was always there, always keeping you under pressure; I recovered but in the seventh game I made some mistakes, errors I might not usually make”, sighed Gaston Alto. “It was a good match; I hope to come back and play again in Chile; now I need a short rest and prepare for the Latin American Cup.”
The ITTF-Latin America Cup will be staged in Guatemala from Friday June 3rd to Sunday June 5th; it is a qualification tournament for the Liebherr Men’s World Cup to be held later in the year in Saarbrücken, Germany.
Again Runner Up Spot
Gaston Alto joins colleagues Liu Song, Rodrigo Gilabert and Pablo Tabachnik as players who have reached an ITTF World Tour Men’s Singles final but have finished in runners up spot.
No Argentine player has ever won an ITTF World Tour Men’s Singles title, the dynasty continues.
Visit ITTF’s 2016 World Tour Chile Open competition page for results and more information.