USA Table Tennis What's New Defense Turns Offens...

Defense Turns Offense as Miuchi Takes 2019 Seamaster US Open Men's Singles Crown

By Matt Hetherington | Dec. 22, 2019, 3:19 p.m. (ET)

It was an all-Japan affair in the final of the Men's Singles at the 2019 Seamaster US Open. The scene was set at the Fort Worth Convention Center, the STAG showcourt table was festively lit and Kentaro Miuchi walked into the court with his opponent Tomoya Fujimura.

A classic showdown of attack vs. defense was on the cards, but Miuchi was ready to write a new narrative.

Having survived two 7 game encounters with Enzo Angles and Liu Yi in the quarterfinal and semifinal stages respectively, it had been a long and arduous task for Kentaro Miuchi on his way to the final. His true mettle had shown in the deciding 7th games where he had turned up the dial and brought home the results.

Tomoya Fujimura on the other hand had been lighting up the competition on his side of the draw, blasting his way through Daniel Gorak in the semifinals.

Fujimura was the speed demon of this year's competition, Miuchi the surprise attacker.

Many had Fujimura pegged with the upper hand, and he came out ripping forehands through Miuchi in game one, ready to prove them right. The long pips chop of Miuchi didn't seem to trouble Fujimura initially at all.

Miuchi looked in trouble from the get-go, but he quickly adjusted.

Receiving backhand often, he wove the across Fujimura's backhand side with deviation, cutting out the wide backhand angle for Fujimura's deadly forehand. 

The powerful snapping forehands of Fujimura quickly became a rarity, replaced with unforced errors, as Miuchi slowed the pace down.

Miuchi spun heavy with his opening forehands, following up strong as he switched from heavy defense to overwhelming offense.

Fujimura was left behind. His powerful forehand shots had been neutralized and options were running out.

The games fell in favor of Miuchi one by one and before long he led 3-0 in the best of 7 final, he was just one game away from lifting the trophy.

Fujimura went on the offensive in the fourth and looked to be ready to turn things around, but Miuchi stuck to his guns and continued to press the attack himself. 

Ultimately the defending of Miuchi was not enough to hold Fujimura off the offensive, but the latter's short dropshots were often loose and high, providing Miuchi the opportunity to come flying in from the back court to launch finishing attacks, even flipping the smooth rubber to the backhand on occasion.

There were too many weapons in the arsenal of Kentaro Miuchi, and Tomoya Fujimura was left in the dust.

Miuchi triumphed in four straight games and lifted the trophy for the first time, the 2019 Seamaster US Open Champion!