Timo BOLL won his seventh title in Singles at LIEBHERR ITTF European ChampionshipsPhoto: Rémy Gros
Germany’s Timo BOLL added seventh title to his European Championships record. The winner of six titles at the singles event (Zagreb 2002, Belgrade 2007, Saint-Petersburg 2008, Ostrava 2010, Gdansk-Sopot 2011 and Herning 2012), Timo BOLL clinched gold in Alicante at the LIEBHERR 2018 ITTF European Championships. In the final he overcame Ovidiu IONESCU of Romania (6:11, 11:7, 11:9, 11:6, 11:5). Bronze went to Patrick FRANZISKA of Germany and Sweden’s Kristian KARLSSON.
Last time Timo was champion in Singles in 2012 but admitted he still feels the fire.
“I am still nervous, I still have desire to win and to play. That is good thing. I enjoy the game. Success is important, but if you do not feel the joy, then is time to quit. I think I will stay more for a while. I am feeling good,” said Timo.
BOLL recovered from the injury and came back after the break.
“I am surprised that I win this Championships,” said BOLL.” I was also shocked in the final. IONESCU is very clever player. He came well prepared, he is fast and he hits hard the ball. Also, the level of his self-confidence was fantastic.”
In the semi final Timo made a remarkable recovery against his teammate Patrick FRANZISKA (8:11, 14:12, 9:11, 8:11, 11:9, 11:5, 11:7). He was three games to one in reverse before he recovered to win the match. At the Championships, where he faced pressure so many times, in the semis he was in the most difficult position, but again, he found his way to the victory.
“I gave too many easy balls, by being passive. At the beginning I let Patrick be more aggressive and he took over the control. With his strong service and first ball it was very dangerous position. I was not enough self-confident just to wait for his mistakes. That is why I had to change the tactics and to attack more,” said BOLL.
Seeded only at the position no. 26 in Alicante, Ovidiu IONESCU beat Sweden’s Kristian KARLSSON no. 9 seed, on his way to the final (10:12, 6:11, 11:13, 9:11, 9:11). His remarkable achievement did not make him less humble than the previous days when he overcame Vladimir SAMSONOV and title defender Emmanuel LEBESSON.
“I am so honored to play among such big stars here. I did not believe something like this will happened, but now I believe in everything,” said IONESCU.
His dream came true, but he got rid of few nightmares in the process.
“Ten days ago, Kristian KARLSSON was my nightmare. In ten matches he beat me seven times. And then, 10 days ago I beat him in the League. Everything changed. Before that I had knew I am done if I see him in the draw, but then I finally made a break through,” said IONECSU. “In the semis his backhand, which is usual lethal, was not that strong as usual. He is more aggressive usually. I seized the opportunity…It was first semi final of the European Championships for both of us so I guess we both were very nervous.”