Ovtcharov Claims Germany's First ITTF China Open Title Since 2006Photo: ITTF
World number four Dimitrij OVTCHAROV (GER) has claimed Germany's first China Open title in 11 years at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Platinum China Open that concluded today, 25 June 2017 in Chengdu, China. The last time Germany ever won the prestigious title was in 2006, where Timo BOLL defeated China's WANG Liqin to win Gold.
OVTCHAROV faced off with BOLL in an all-German final showdown in the Men's Singles event, after the top three players in the world MA Long, FAN Zhendong & XU Xin forfeited their matches at the China Open. ITTF's statement on the issue can be found here.
The German duo engaged in a full distanced battle for Gold. Despite taking a 3-1 lead in the intense final, OVTCHAROV was unable to close the match, as 36-year-old BOLL catching up to level the game score 3-3 and push into a seventh game for a chance to repeat his 2006 success.
OVTCHAROV had to recover from 6-10 down in the decider to save four match points before taking the match & the Gold medal 4-3 (17-15, 7-11, 12-10, 11-9, 7-11, 6-11, 12-10) over BOLL.
"In the seventh game, I was leading 5-2 at the start, lost few easy balls and my whole game broke apart. Timo took over and played really smart with placement. At 6-10, I didn't believe I could win anymore, but at the relaxation of that feeling, I won six point straight to win this Gold. I think luck was on my side for me today for this victory."
In the Women's Singles final, reigning World Champion DING Ning (CHN) ended surprise finalist SUN Yingsha (CHN)'s dream run on the ITTF World Tour to claim her third China Open title.
SUN had shocked the world to win the Japan Open Women's Singles title on senior debut last week in Tokyo. Playing only her second senior tournament here in Chengdu, the 16-year-old SUN continued her amazing performance enroute to eliminate world number four FENG Tianwei (SGP) & world number two LIU Shiwen (CHN) to make the final.
In the all-Chinese fight for the Women's Singles Gold, SUN was unable to keep with the power of DING, as the Grand Slam Champion dominated the match over SUN to win 4-1 (8-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-7, 11-6) to show why she's the number one on the Women's world ranking.
In a rematch of the Liebherr 2017 World Championships final, DING partnered with world number two LIU to take the Women's Doubles title from defending Champions CHEN Meng (CHN) & ZHU Yuling (CHN) with a 3-1 (9-11, 11-7, 11-4, 12-10) victory.
The Men's Doubles event was an all-Japanese affair, battled between Jin UEDA / Maharu YOSHIMURA against 13-year-old Tomokazu HARIMOTO & his partner Yuto KIZUKURI for the Gold. Experience prevailed eventually, as the more experienced pair UEDA / YOSHIMURA took home the title, winning 3-1 (12-10, 9-1, 11-8, 11-9).
With the conclusion of the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Platinum China Open, the world's top table tennis stars will head to Gold Coast, Australia for the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Platinum Australia Open that begins action from 4-7 July 2017.
The Australia Open will be the fourth platinum event of the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour which features 12 events across the world in 2017 plus a World Tour Grand Finals, which only the top 16 male and female players from the 12 World Tour events qualify for.