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    Emmanuel Lebesson Shocks The World Becoming 2016 European Champion!

    Emmanuel Lebesson shocks the world and becomes the first Frenchman to win the European men's singles title in 40 years!

    Emmanuel Lebesson European Champion in Budapest - Photo by: ITTF Flickr!

    After the very predictable Olympic Games and Men's World Cup results the European championships has provided a very welcome shock winner in Emmanuel Lebesson. The Frenchman was only seeded 14 for the tournament, and so was not expected to even make the quarter final stage. Lebesson clearly didn't read the script though, as he pulled off his first unexpected win in the round of 16 beating World number 22 Stefan Fegerl 4-2.

    In the quarter finals Lebesson was up against stiff competition in the form of world number 12 Marcos Freitas. The Portuguese sensation was heavy favourite and is ranked 26 spaces above Lebesson in the world rankings. However Frietas let a 2-1 set deficit slip and lost 4-2. This set up a semi final with, the Dimitrij Ovtcharov slayer, Jakub Dyjas. Dyjas couldn't find the form that he displayed when he defeated the German top seed a few rounds prior and was dispatched easily 4-1 putting Lebesson into the final.

    In the other half of the draw his French compatriot Simon Gauzy was busy pulling off some great wins of his own beating Alexander Shibaev and Timo Boll on his way to the final. Although it must be said his win over Boll was due to the German legend pulling out with injury after being 2-1 down to Gauzy.

    This set the stage for an historic all French Final. Incredibly this would be the first time the two countrymen would meet on the international stage, perhaps even more surprisingly they haven't even played each other in the French league before. This meant that, apart from their ranking differences where Gauzy is 19 spaces higher, there was nothing to go by based on previous results on who the more likely victor was.

    The first set went to deuce with Lebesson winning 14-12 and the second was also very close with Gauzy pulling one back 11-9. However this would be the last piece of success Gauzy would have with Lebesson winning the next three sets, 11-7, 11-3, 11-6 to take the match 4-1. This gave Emmanuel Lebesson the honour of being named the first French European men's singles champion in 40 years, Jacques Secrétin being the last way back in 1976.

    Highlights of the FINAL between Emmanuel Lebesson and Simon Gauzy provided by TTLondon2012:

    For all the latest news, results and videos from the European Championships click here. To watch all the latest matches highlighted by TTLondon2012 visit our Video Library.

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    Written by: Thomas Jeffcott
    Comments 3 Comments
    1. qvoliszz's Avatar
      qvoliszz -
      Maybe I did not put my statement right, Gauzy lacked the motivation of the previous fight (Boll), so he gave in. I expected a tighter matchup, between player from the same country, because they had the opportunity to play against each other and get used to each other. In contrast with his previous match Gausy was less fierce in the finals in my opinion. I believe both players earned their wictories with excellent skills and game and a little luck, but luck favoures those, who are well prepared, and they were more than prepaired .
    1. soli's Avatar
      soli -
      TBH Gauzy did fight, but only for the first two games, then he just quit…
    1. qvoliszz's Avatar
      qvoliszz -
      Well Gauzy was not fighting at all. He was really demotivated after Timo stepped away from the table. Gauzy also said, he did not win and he does not feel like it. It was also affecting his game. I hoped I will see an even fight between the two frenchmen, but no... it was similar, what happened to Dyjas after beating Ovtcharow, he could not keep up his fighting will.
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