Ma Long & Timo Boll Fights to Make ITTF German Open History
Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Platinum German Open in Bremen, Germany
Table Tennis legends MA Long (CHN) and Timo BOLL (GER) aims for fifth German Open title to make history at the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Platinum German Open from today 23 March till 25 March 2018 at the ÖVB Arena in Bremen, Germany. After three days of intense action in the qualification rounds, the 16 men & women qualifiers has been determined to join the top seeds as main draw action begin.
Reigning World & Olympic Champion MA, who was in dominant form to help China win Gold at the 2018 Team World Cup in London in February, will be looking at claiming his fifth German Open and 25th overall ITTF World Tour Open titles to edge closer to the record 27 titles by Belarussian evergreen Vladimir SAMSONOV. MA will face 2017 Mixed Doubles World Champion Maharu YOSHIMURA (JPN) in his opening round encounter.
Recently rolling the years to reclaim the top spot on the ITTF World Ranking as the oldest ever world number one at 36 years, 11 months and 21 days on 1 March, local hero BOLL will be hoping to take a fifth German Open title in front of the home crowd, starting his journey against Korea Republic's AN Jaehyun.
Top seed and former world number one Dimitrij OVTCHAROV (GER), who faces compatriot Patrick FRANZISKA in his opening match, will join BOLL's quest to keep the Gold from leaving German soil, and looks to reach the Men's Singles final in order to surpass Qatar Open Champion FAN Zhendong's current world ranking points to become the world number one next month. FAN had pulled out from the tournament due to injury.
Women's top seed, Singapore's FENG Tianwei will meet 13-year-old Satsuki ODO (JPN) who has shocked reigning European Cup Champion Bernadette SZOCS (ROU) and Pan American Champion Adriana DIAZ (PUR) to make her way to the main draw.
China's WU Yang and WEN Jia, together with Japan's Mima ITO, will all have their eyes on the prize to become the first female player to win the German Open twice.
All eyes will be on local stars HAN Ying (GER) and Sabine WINTER (GER) to keep German hopes for the title alive. The duo will be facing Canada's ZHANG Mo and Korea Republic's JEON Jihee respectively in the first round of the main draw.
China's top women's stars including DING Ning, LIU Shiwen and world number one ZHU Yuling are missing out from the action in Bremen due to preparations for the upcoming Liebherr 2018 World Team Table Tennis Championships to be held in Halmstad from 29 April to 6 May.
The Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Platinum German Open is the second of six ITTF World Tour Platinum events in 2018, which is the top tier of the ITTF World Tour with the most prize money and world ranking points. Together with the six regular ITTF World Tour events, players compete to earn World Tour Standings points to be one of top 16 to qualify for the one-million-dollar World Tour Grand Finals in December.