Dimitrij OVTCHAROV becomes World no. 1 for the first timePhoto: Courtesy ITTF
“This is the best year of my career”, stressed OVTCHAROV after his historic win against Japan`s Koki NIWA at the opening round of the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals in Astana, Kazakhstan. ETTU President Ronald KRAMER congratulated to the newly crowned World no. 1
Dimitrij OVTCHAROV has achieved one of his biggest successes by reaching the world number one ranking on the ITTF World Ranking list. The 29-year-old German managed it by beating Japanese Koki NIWA after full seven games of the opening round match at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals in Astana, Kazakhstan on Friday 15th December.
“This is the best year of my career! I am immensely proud to be no. 1 in January. It feels like a world title to me, and I've worked for 20 years to achieve it”, stressed actual no. 3 Dimitrij OVTCHAROV after breathtaking win against current no. 8 Koki NIWA 4:3 (10:12, 11:6, 12:14, 11:6, 9:11, 11:9, 11:5).
ETTU President Ronald KRAMER congratulated to the newly crowned World no. 1:
“A superb achievement, following a year of great success! He is being rewarded for his constant hard work and dedication. ETTU is thrilled to have a European heading the World ranking in 2018, to follow his compatriot Timo BOLL as World number one in 2011!”
World Cup winner will replace both, World and Olympic champion MA Long after 34 months at the top. More than six and a half years (exactly 81 month) Chinese players have hold the top position. Last non-Chinese world no. 1 was another German legend, Timo BOLL who climbed on the peak twice. First, six times European champion occupied highest possible spot from January to May 2003, then from January to March 2011. The 2012 Olympic bronze medalist OVTCHAROV is only second German player to be world no. 1
Like many experts emphasized, congratulating to the newlyappointed ITTF Men`s World Cup Champion, the 29-year-old German fully deserved this status. This is for sure his most successful year, winning everything that could be won, except LIEBHERR 2017 World Championships held in Dusseldorf, where he was beaten by his today`s opponent Koki NIWA in the Round of 16.
Men`s national coach of Germany Jorg ROSSKOPF was overwhelmed with emotion after OVTCHAROV`s close win against NIWA:
“It was a tough match and Dima deserves to become the world's number one in January, which is a great confirmation of his achievements. But here at the Grand Finals I would like see him to collect some more wins, not just this one against Koki NIWA”.
NIWA was one who held the lead, but OVTCHAROV managed to send the match into a deciding seventh game. With the scores tied up at three points apiece, German secured comfortable 10:4 lead to establish himself as a new World no. 1.
There was another seven game encounter, as Hong Kong’s WONG Chun Ting prevailed against Belarus Vladimir SAMSONOV. The ultimate set was decided by a narrow margin - 4:3 (11:3, 12:10, 9:11, 13:11, 4:11, 8:11, 11:9). WONG meets Timo BOLL in the quarter-final stage, while Dimitrij OVTCHAROV opposes Japan`s Tomoka HARIMOTO.