Jean-Michel SAIVE

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 Finale du Pro Tour en Chine

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Rang: Administrateur

Nombre de messages : 161
Localisation : Laneffe, province de Namur, Belgique
Date d'inscription : 17/06/2005

Finale du Pro Tour en Chine Empty
MessageSujet: Finale du Pro Tour en Chine   Finale du Pro Tour en Chine EmptyDim 11 Déc à 18:13

Jean-Mi a réalisé un superbe parcours lors de la finale du Pro Tour où, après avoir battu Vladi Samsonov (4-0), Adrian Crisan (4-0) et Oh Sang Eun (4-2), il ne s'est incliné qu'en finale contre Timo Boll (1-4).

Voici les articles qui sont parus à son sujet sur le site de l'ITTF.

Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Master Plan
Photo By:
The Master Plan worked early in the evening of Saturday 10th December 2005 at the Volkswagen Pro Tour Grand Finals in Fuzhou and the beneficiary was Belgium’s Jean-Michel SAIVE.

He beat Romania’s Adrian CRISAN in their quarter-final encounter 11-5, 11-6, 11-6, 11-6.

Jean-Michel SAIVE followed the tactics perfectly in Fuzhou
No doubt Belgian coach, WANG Dayong, who has worked with Jean-Michel SAIVE for the past sixteen years, had done his homework; he was well aware of the fact that Adrian CRISAN is very adept when controlling the points from the backhand.

SAIVE played the vast majority of his first attacking strokes either towards the right hip of CRISAN or to the forehand; on several occasions the Romanian responded with forehand topspins of his own but in rallies SAIVE is in his element. He was the more positive player and only towards the end of the contest did play a significant number of topspins into the backhand of CRISAN but by that time the writing was on the wall.

“I felt very confident after beating SAMSONOV yesterday”, said SAIVE. “Today Adrian was passive in his play, I could attack, most certainly he can play better.”

The win over SAMSONOV was an important factor, it had been a very close duel and when you win a close match then you start to believe, in Fuzhou Jean-Michel SAIVE believed. “If I’d have played like I did today, yesterday, I would have lost to Werner SCHLAGER”, explained a disappointed CRISAN, who clearly felt that he had not done himself justice.

At the end of the contest SAIVE saluted the crowd, as everywhere in the world, crowds love to watch him play, total commitment, one hundred per cent effort; he might tell you that age is increasingly not on his side but he’s still as enthusiastic as ever and he’ll be about for a few years yet. “My aim is to play in the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008”, he said. “There are many good players about, so it’ll be tough to be at the Olympics but I’ve played all five so far and I really want to make it six.”

I’m sure he’ll be there, especially if he maintains his current form, and that’s good news for table tennis but does he harbour any thoughts of retirement? “I’ve promised I’ll play until Belgium hosts the Olympic Games”, joked SAIVE (I think it was a joke!). “The earliest that can be is 2016, so I’ve got to play till then!” Sorry Jean-Mi, I disagree. London will host the Olympics in 2012 and I doubt the Games will be held in Europe in 2016 so I think you better aim for 2020 or even 2024.

At the semi-final stage, SAIVE will meet Korea’s OH Sang Eun who overcame China’s MA Long in five games; a contest that was very much a reversal of their meeting one month earlier in Magdeburg at the Liebherr German Open when MA Long had prevailed in impressive style. In Fuzhou, OH Sang Eun was bent on revenge. He was positive from the start; the passive approach that had been evident in Germany was replaced by positive determined player.

MA Long is young, he is only seventeen years old, according to the ITTF World Ranking list he didn’t start as favourite but perhaps he felt the pressure a little, he was playing in front of a Chinese crowd, he was the only Chinese man in the tournament and he gave his best as he always does. He is a fine player and he’ll have learnt from the experience and experience than no training hall could possibly replicate.

Lower Half
Meanwhile, in the lower half of the draw, the semi-final will see Korea’s RYU Seung Min face Timo BOLL. The Korean’s speed proved the difference in his match against the powerful Russian whilst in similar vein BOLL attacked quickly and used his speed to overcome KO Lai Chak; however, the German star was tested with the man from Hong Kong recovering from a three games to nil deficit to level matters and force a seventh game.

In recent months BOLL has proved triumphant time and again when a seventh game has beckoned, a good start and maintain the advantage; in Fuzhou he did just that and prevailed. “It was a tough match”, explained BOLL. “In the first three games KO Lai Chak did not play so well but in the next three he played very well.” In the fourth, fifth and sixth games, KO Lai Chak was very positive, he seized every opportunity. “He controlled those games and it became tougher and tougher”, continued BOLL. “Looking back, the third game was important, he led and I managed to win the game.”

It had been a good day for BOLL, earlier he had enjoyed success in the Men’s Doubles event, a physically testing time but the German is in good physical shape and he’s certainly playing some of the very best table tennis of his career.

KO Lai Chak recovered from a three games to nil deficit against Timo BOLL in Fuzhou but in the vital seventh game it was BOLL who took an early lead and he never relinquished that lead..

(Photo by


Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Quite Incredible
Photo By: Tamasu Butterfly
In the opening round of the Men’s Singles event at the Volkswagen Pro Tour Grand Finals in Fuzhou, China; Belgium’s Jean-Michel SAIVE had beaten Vladimir SAMSONOV of Belarus; at the semi-final stage on Sunday 11th December 2005 he faced a player of a similar style, Korea’s OH Sang Eun.

SAIVE is the fighter, in his view there is never a lost cause and as ever he was aggressive from the start, top spinning from both backhand and forehand at every opportunity.
Jean-Michel SAIVE, playing as well as ever in Fuzhou
He established a 10-7 lead in the opening game, only for the control of OH Sang Eun to come into play; the Korean levelled at 10-all and then clinched the game 13-11, after he had saved a fourth game point when 10-11 in arrears.

OH Sang Eun, tall and slim; a player who excels at controlling the ball close to the table with his backhand and then accelerating when the opportunity arises, had reached the semi-final stage of the Men’s Singles event at the Volkswagen 48th World Championships in Shanghai earlier in the year. The year 2005 was proving to be his best ever.

A close first game under his belt, he continually gained a slender lead in the second game and each time he gained that lead, SAIVE recovered to level. The two were locked in combat at 7-all with SAIVE serving; displaying superb control, withstanding the Belgium’s barrage of topspins, OH Sang Eun won the next two points on the SAIVE service to move 9-7 ahead but then lost the next three points, before SAIVE rushed an attempted forehand winner; as in the first game the scores were level at 10-all.

Korean Ahead
The next point went to the Korean, SAIVE encouraged himself and played the first attacking stroke with heavy topspin as opposed to speed, he won the next three points and the game 13-11; it was parity. However, in the third game OH Sang Eun made the better start, he went ahead 6-2, then 7-3; time and again controlling the attacks of SAIVE. The Belgian star changed tactics, he served with his backhand from the middle of the table to reduce the angles the Korean could gain but over the table, close to the net, OH Sang Eun was displaying his skills. He won the game 11-6 and was one game to the good.

Close to the net, OH Sang Eun was proving the more effective player; in the fourth game he went ahead 4-2; SAIVE attacked but when he played across the diagonal into OH Sang Eun’s backhand the Korean was very content to block, withstand the onslaught and then turn matters to his advantage. He established a 7-5 lead, then 9-6; SAIVE recovered to reduce the arrears to 9-8, then 9-all before winning a superb point with a tirade of topspins that brought the crowd to their feet. He had fought as he always fights and he duly won the game with a piece of outrageous fortune as the ball clipped the top of the net and OH Sang Eun could not effect a return. SAIVE, the sportsman, raised his hand in apology. It was two games all.

Belgian Recovery
In the fifth game OH Sang Eun made the better start, he went ahead 4-2 with SAIVE continuing to serve with the backhand from the middle of the table to reduce the angles from the Korean’s blocking ability on the backhand. Motivated, dynamic, SAIVE recovered and went ahead 10-7; in the first game he had been in the same situation and lost, this time the Belgian made no mistake and seized the opportunity to win the game 11-7 and move three games to two ahead.

He was now `on fire’ and went ahead 4-1 in the sixth game forcing OH Sang Eun to take `Time Out’. The tirade from Jean-Mi continued, he urged himself forward in trademark style whilst coach WANG Dayong sat as passively as ever, the mastermind. SAIVE moved ahead 8-2, OH Sang Eun recovered to 8-3 but the Belgian was relentless, he won the next three points, jumped for joy, saluted the crowd, they responded.

The man who a month ago had thought he had little chance of even competing in Fuzhou and had never previously beaten OH Sang Eun was in the final; quite incredible.

Jean-Michel SAIVE (BEL) beat OH Sang Eun KOR) 11-13, 13-11, 6-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-3

Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
First Ever All European Final
Photo By: Tamasu Butterfly
The final ITTF Pro Tour tournament of the year had been the Liebherr Swedish Open in Gothenburg.

The two players who had contested the final were Germany’s Timo BOLL and Belgium’s Jean-Michel SAIVE.

In Fuzhou, the two were once again the protagonists in the final; the prize at stake a Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet car and the title, Men’s Singles champion, Volkswagen Pro Tour Grand Finals 2005.

Timo BOLL, the Men's Singles champion at the Volkswagen Pro Tour Grand Finals
Furthermore, it was an historical event in the history of the ITTF Pro Tour, it was the first time that European players had faced each other in any final since the competition started in 1996; in every previous final, whether Men’s Singles, Women’s Singles, Men’s Doubles or Women’s Doubles, Asian players had been present.

BOLL, the number two seed started as favourite in the final and in the opening game he justified the billing. He won 11-6.

German Ahead
Time and again BOLL forced SAIVE back from the table, the rallies were exciting as SAIVE in typical style chased every ball; it was entertaining, the crowd loved the way SAIVE tried to retrieve but it was German coach Richard PRAUSE who had cause to celebrate, as the points went the way of BOLL. In the second game BOLL went ahead 5-3, SAIVE giving BOLL a dose of his own medicine forced BOLL away from the table to reduce the arrears to 6-5 and then with adrenalin flowing levelled at 6-all.

SAIVE won the next point, 7-6 ahead but BOLL won the next four with any fortune going his way to move to 10-7; the Belgian hero saved the first game point but not the second, as he attacked wide to the BOLL forehand and at the end of a fierce rally aimed his attack just that centimetre too wide.

Error Free
BOLL was maintaining the form he had displayed at the Liebherr Men’s World Cup in October; he was playing virtually error free. Attacking with his forehand at every opportunity, concentrating on the SAIVE backhand as the Belgian star was forced to retreat;, he went ahead 5-3. The scores progressed to 9-7 in favour of BOLL who won the next point with an un-returnable net cord and the next when SAIVE erred with the backhand to win the game 11-7 and be one away from the title.

SAIVE had a mountain to climb and the mountain became even higher when BOLL went into a 2-0 lead in the fourth game; the Belgian hero levelled at 2-all but serving BOLL re-took the lead winning both points on the service to move ahead 4-2. Every point was being won by the player serving, SAIVE recovered to 4-all and then broke the pattern to go ahead 5-4. The German levelled but the next two points went to SAIVE, he was ahead 7-5. BOLL recovered to 7-all, SAIVE went ahead 8-7 then fortune for BOLL as the ball clipped the net and trickled over, 8-all.

The Belgian star looked to the heavens wondering what he had done to deserve such a fate; the scores progressed to 9-all with SAIVE serving. He went ahead 10-9, he had a chance for a reprieve and in seconds he was celebrating, he won the point, won the game and had reduced the arrears.

Confident, SAIVE won the first three points of the fifth game before BOLL replied; again fortune for BOLL as he reduced the arrears to 2-3 and then with SAIVE back on the ropes he levelled at 3-all. BOLL went ahead 5-3. SAIVE called `Time Out’, BOLL was accelerating, a re-appraisal was needed.

Title & Car
The players returned, BOLL was totally focused; he went ahead 8-4 and was within site of victory. He moved ahead 9-4, SAIVE recovered to 9-5, then BOLL had match point. He only needed one chance; he forced SAIVE back to the court surrounds, won the point, celebrated and was the proud owner of a Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet.

Timo BOLL (GER) bt Jean-Michel SAIVE (BEL) 11-6, 11-8, 11-7, 9-11, 11-5



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Rang: Administrateur

Nombre de messages : 161
Localisation : Laneffe, province de Namur, Belgique
Date d'inscription : 17/06/2005

Finale du Pro Tour en Chine Empty
MessageSujet: Re: Finale du Pro Tour en Chine   Finale du Pro Tour en Chine EmptyMar 13 Déc à 21:27

Suite au très beau parcours de Jean-Mi en Chine, nous sommes allés l'accueillir à l'aéroport pour le féliciter. Je tenterai dans les jours prochains de mettre un lien vers des photos que j'ai prises...

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