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Europe Top-16 Cup - 4 Feb 2018

BOLL beat World’s no. one to secure sixth title

Photo: Rémy Gros ITTF

China Construction Bank 2018 ITTF Europe Top 16 Cup

For a sixth time Timo BOLL of Germany clinched the gold at the Top 16. Last time he did it in Dusseldorf in 2010. In the final of the Men’s Singles at the China Construction Bank 2018 ITTF Europe Top 16 Cup, former World’s no. one beat current top player at the World rankings and title winner in 2017, 2016, 2015. Dimitrij OVTCHAROV (11:13, 6:11, 3:11, 6:11). Both players booked their places at the ITTF Men’s World Cup to be played 19-21 October in Paris.


The final was more of one-man show. And that man was not favorite from the beginning.


“I came here not as a big favorite. OVTCHAROV is ruling the World in past few months, but few things today came together. I won the opening game, which was very important, and other key thing is that Dimitrij was not in best of his shape. He came recently from the vacation and he did not practice enough. For his style it is crucial point. On the other side, I am in perfect shape,” said BOLL. “Last year we played very often against each other and I worked on some new tactics and services. It come quite well. I think I found the solution for his game.”


There will not be a time for celebration.


“Already on Friday we have the second leg match of the quarterfinal of the Table Tennis Champions League Men against UMMC and then Bundesliga clash against Werder. Only after that I will take some times for break. Almost year and the half I am without the pause. It is almost remarkable, how my body still produces such energy to keep me playing at the highest level,” said BOLL.


Dimitrij OVTCHAROV blamed his current shape.


“I am still far from the top level. The season just began and I have to work on my shape,” said OVTCHAROV.


On his second appearance at the Top 16 Jonathan GROTH of Denmark clinched the bronze medal in Montreux. He also secured the place at the ITTF Men’s World Cup. GROTH beat Vladimir SAMSONOV who already had four titles in this event (7:11, 11:9, 11:9, 12:10, 4:11, 9:11, 11:6).


It was pure thriller and GROTH did not give up even when he was 1:3 in reverse.


“I am delighted. It is unbelievable feeling to reach the medal rostrum, win against SAMSONOV and to book the place at the ITTF World Cup. I knew it is going to come for me but not this year already,” said Jonathan.


GROTH’s game improved tremendously in past two years.


“I changed few clubs, but that is not that important. The most important thing was the work with my mental coach. I matured and my attitude is completely different. Now I am prepared for the toughest rallies and matches. I learn how to stay focus even when the thing get tough, as you can see today against SAMSONOV. He recovered from 1:3 to 3:3, but I still managed to maintain the winning attitude. I showed my strong face. All the matches I played here were very good. I am completely satisfied. I only regret I did not show more in the match against OVTCHAROV in the semis. I do not say I could win, but I could do more,” said GROTH.


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