Kristian KARLSSON ready to upset favorites in MontreuxPhoto: Courtesy ITTF
China Construction Bank 2018 ITTF Europe Top 16 Cup
Swedish player Kristian KARLSSON had one of his best tournaments so far two years ago in Gondomar, playing at the 2016 ITTF Europe Top 16 Cup. He finished fourth, being very close to upset no. 1 seed Dimitrij OVTCHAROV in the semi-final, as he led 3:2 and 6:3 in the sixth game. Last year he was far from that achievement (13-16th place), but he hopes he will be able to repeat 2016 at the upcoming China Construction Bank 2018 ITTF Europe Top 16 Cup in Montreux (on 3rd and 4th February).
“My goal is to reach the semifinals of the tournament”, stressed Kristian KARLSSON, speaking about the forthcoming event in the Swiss city of Montreux.
The 26-year-old KARLSSON, actual World no. 22, had successful start of the 2018, as he won German Cup with Borussia Dusseldorf. Two of his teammates Timo BOLL and Stefan FEGERL (lost to KARLSSON 4:1 in the quarter-final of the 2016 Europe Top 16 in Gondomar) will also play in Montreux.
“We had a great start of the year winning the German Cup so hope to keep my shape from that event. I feel I have a good chance to repeat the success from 2016.”
Like many experts he sees two German players as favorites for the crown, four times winner Dimitrij OVTCHAROV (current World no. 1) and five times champion Timo BOLL (no. 3). But, who can create upset?
“Favorites have to be Timo BOLL and Dimitrij OVTCHAROV. I hope me and my countryman Mattias KARLSSON can upset the seeding a bit (smile)!”
Regarding goals for this year, Kristian KARLSSON emphasized one event in his country, in the city where he spent two seasons playing for Halmstad BTK:
“The big goal for 2018 is to reach a medal in World Team Championship on home field in Halmstad.”
In Salle Omnisport du Pierrier will also play Vladimir SAMSONOV of Belarus, Marcos FREITAS of Portugal, Ruwen FILUS of Germany, Simon GAUZY of France, Alexander SHIBAEV of Russia, Bastian STEGER of Germany, Jonathan GROTH of Denmark, Emmanuel LEBESSON of France, Tiago APOLONIA of Portugal, Panagiotis GIONIS of Greece, Stefan FEGERL of Austria, Lionel WEBER of Switzerland.
In Women’s Top 16 will play: LI Jie of Netherlands, Elizabeta SAMARA of Romania, Georgina POTA of Hungary, Sofia POLCANOVA of Austria, Petrissa SOLJA of Germany, LI Qian of Poland, Matilda EKHOLM of Sweden, Daniela MONTEIRO DODEAN and Bernadette SZOCS of Romania, Viktoria PAVLOVICH of Belarus, NI Xia Lian of Luxembourg, Polina MIKHAILOVA of Russia, Sabine WINTER of Germany, Tetyana BILENKO of Ukraine and Rachel MORET of Switzerland.
Event’s page here
Organisers web site here
Tickets are available here