OVTCHAROV clinched gold, silver and gold for EKHOLM
Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour India Open
Occupying the top seeded position in the draw, Dimitrij OVTCHAROV beat Tomokazu HARIMOTO, the no.14 seed in four straight games (11-6, 11-8, 11-4, 14-12) and thus stopped the Japanese prodigy from being the youngest player ever to win an ITTF World Tour Men’s Singles title. Today was also a great day for another European. Matilda EKHOLM of Sweden won gold in Women’s Doubles and silver in Women’s Singles Event.
Success for Dimitrij OVTCHAROV means that he has enjoyed a dream start to the year; it is three consecutive titles in February. On Sunday 5th February, he won the Europe Top 16 event in the French Riviera coastal resort of Antibes; one week later he clinched the Men’s Singles title at the DHS Lausanne Open, before today succeeding in India’s capital city.
“I felt a lot of support here in New Delhi, I am so glad that I was able to defend my title that I had won seven years back in 2010. I really thank the Indian fans for the support. I received so many messages from people who kept saying- Dima, this guy is 13 years old but don’t think about his age, think about your own game. I have heard his age so many times in the last 24 hours. I felt a bit of a pressure. But Harimoto is an amazing player for his age and I think he has a very very bright future,”- said Dimitrij OVTCHAROV.
At the final hurdle in the Women’s Singles, Japan’s Sakura MORI the no.6 seed, accounted for Sweden’s Matilda EKHOLM, the no.4 seed, to arrest the title in a full seven games duel (7-11, 11-5, 11-8, 12-10, 6-11, 8-11, 11-6).
“I'm obviously very happyabout my performance lately. In Swiss open I played really well and got some confidence that followed me to India. I feel I have become stronger physically and improved my backhand greatly, “ said EKHOLM.
Matilda had her consolation in gold in the Women’s’ Doubles Event. EKHOLM and Hungary’s Georgina POTA clinched the gold. It was their second appearance at the ITTF World Tour this year; previously they had been beaten in the gold medal contest by China’s CHEN Xingtong and LI Jiayi at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Hungarian Open in Budapest. However, they had already shared the experience of being at the top. In the Czech Republic city of Olomouc in September they overcame Russian defensive pairing of Maria DOLGIKH and Polina MIKHAILOVA in the final.
In the Men’s Doubles Event final Japan’s Masataka MORIZONO and Yuya OSHIMA accounted for the German combination formed by Ruwen FILUS and Ricardo WALTHER, the second seeds 3-1 (9-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-9). For FILUS and WALTHER, in New Delhi it was only their second ITTF World Tour Men’s Doubles final; in 2015 in Belarus they had been beaten in the final by Denmark’s Jonathan GROTH and Kasper STERNBERG.