Dimitrij OVTCHAROV beat ZHANG JikePhoto: Courtesy ITTF
2016 ITTF World Tour Qatar Open (Super), Doha
European champion Dimitrij OVTCHAROV recorded impressive five games win over Olympic champion ZHANG Jike of China (5-11,11-7,11-6,11-7,12-10). In the semi final of the Men's Singles Germany's player, tomorrow, will meet World Champion MA Long also of China.
Only week ago, ZHANG beat OVTCHAROV in Kuwait after seven games and with 11:8 in the decisive game. Understandably, OVTCHAROV was delighted after having his revenge in Qatar. The joy was even greater since best ranked European players had doubts before the tournament, should he play at all.
OVTCHAROV, paused three weeks because of a back muscle strain with nerve irritation and came back to the training arena, only two weeks ago.
"It was the match at the highest level. I have not even thought that I can already perform at such level after my forced break. However, that is sport: sometimes it's better to make the break, and then return in full swing. Today I had nothing to lose."
Men's coach Jörg ROSSKOPF praised his protégé: "This is a very important, really good win for Dima This gives him a lot of confidence, and it also gives benefits to our team. Dima has tactically played very well, we have spoken a lot before the quarterfinals about the match at the Kuwait Open, drew the right conclusions from it. ZHANG Jike still can play a bit better than he did today, but that also applies to Dima. "
In the quarters FAN Zhedong of China halted the progress of Belarus Vladimir SAMSONOV.
In the quarterfinal of the Women's Event Petrissa SOLJA og Germany suffered by the hands of LIU Shiwen of China, TIE Yana of Hong Kong beat LI Xue of France, Ding NING of China overcame HAN Ying of Germany.