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Europe Top-16 Cup - 8 Feb 2015

OVTCHAROV prevails in knife edge final


After Lyon 2012, Dimitrij OVTCHAROV of Germany repeated the success at the 2015 NN Table Tennis Club ITTF – Europe Top 16. In knife-edge final he beat last year’s champion Marcos FREITAS of Portugal. In final Dimitrij was 3:1 down before he recovered to w

After Lyon 2012, Dimitrij OVTCHAROV of Germany repeated the success at the 2015 NN Table Tennis Club ITTF – Europe Top 16. In knife-edge final he beat last year’s champion Marcos FREITAS of Portugal.

In final Dimitrij was 3:1 down before he recovered to win the match. “Actually I was not so bad. I was in the lead in first game, but when I lost it, it gave advantage to FREITAS. I had a set ball later….However Marcos played very good today and I had to give my best. It was especially hard after match in the semi final against Panagiotis. The main task for me was to calm down and to prepare myself for final,” said OVTCHAROV.

Panagiotis GIONIS booked his place for the World Cup after victory over Simon GAUZY of France in seven games in the match for bronze. “Our first goal was to reach quarterfinal, but when I saw the draw and APOLONIA was there, I thought I can go further. I won and of course instantly start thinking of World Cup. I am so happy that I will leave Baku with that ticket,” said GIONIS.

The memories of semi final against Dimitrij OVTCHAROV were still fresh. Dimitrij OVTCHAROV has been seriously challenged in his nail biting semi-final duel against Greek GIONIS (10:12, 11:6, 14:16, 11:4, 10:12, 11:4 ,11:8). Battle lasted 77 minutes with twist and turns and controversial moments. Visibly under pressure after hard match OVTCHAROV commented situation in the decisive game at 4:4. “I stopped because GIONIS played double ball.”

However the umpires did not see that, but after OVTCHAROV stopped, they gave the point to GIONIS. Players agreed it was double ball and GIONIS returned the point to OVTCHAROV for 5:5. Alongside that point, he lost his focus and soon it was 8:5 and 11:8. “I won my games easily and each set GIONIS won was very close. He played perfectly and seized each and every opportunity occurs,” said OVTCHAROV.

GIONIS commented: “I do not know whose fault was, but for sure it completely blew my focus. I am defender and I need time to settle into rhythm. We made a break that lasted for 7 minutes and after that I lost three easy points. I played one of my best matches before that.”

There was no lack of thrilling moments in the second semi final. Reigning champion Marcos FREITAS was stretched to full distance against 20 years old Frenchmen Simon GAUZY. GAUZY for sure proved that he matured for the big results. “Simon played very aggressive. I was not up to my best. I suffered from the lack of concentration, I was not moving the way I want and generally I was not playing very well. On the other side, Simon was at the top of game always a step ahead of me.” explained FREITAS. ”At the end the most important thing is that I won, even when I am not happy with my performance.”

Men’s standing:1.Dimitrij OVTCHAROV GER; 2. Macos FREITAS POR; 3. Panagiotis GIONIS GRE; 4.Simon GAUZY FRA; 5. Tiago APOLONIA POR; 6. Robert GARDOS AUT; 7. Adrien MATTENET FRA; 8. Joao MONTEIRO POR; 9/12 Par GERELL SWE, Kristian KARLSSON SWE, Vladimir SAMSONOV BLR, Paul DRINKHALL ENG; 13/16 Andrej GACINA CRO, Steffen MENGEL GER, Bastian STEGER GER, Farhad ISMAYLOV AZE.

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