BOLL and OVTCHAROV in the quarterfinalsPhoto: ITTF
2019 Chengdu Airlines Men's World Cup
Only two Europeans “survived” the Round of 16 at the 2019 Chengdu Airlines Men's World Cup and both coming from Germany. Timo BOLL and Dimitrij OVTCHAROV will play in the quarterfinal tomorrow.
OVTCHAROV had a very hard task. He was stretched to six and seven games in his both previous matches in the Group Stage and the duel against Mattias FALCK today was not any easier. Swede put OVTCHAROV at severe test (11-8, 3-11, 8-11, 11-8, 10-12, 11-7, 13-11).
“Mattias is one of the strongest players in the world, reaching the finals of the World Championships. One year ago we played in the same stage of the Men’ World Cup in Paris and I won 12-10 in the last set, today was 13-11 so it’s getting closer. It’s the fourth victory in a row but before that I lost some matches so it’s always a tough battle with Mattias and today he deserved the victory as much as I do. It’s tough sometimes for me, I don’t know if it was better for me to defend or attack which is what I usually like to do before Mattias is very strong defensively. Its’s a little bit like chess on the table tennis table. I’m happy I get to play with MA Long again. He is probably the strongest player in the world and a measure to where you are but Simon had given him a good fight so I will try as well,” announced Dimitrij OVTCHAROV.
For Timo BOLL it was much easier ride. He beat Sathiyan GNANASEKARAN of India in five games (7-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-9, 11-8).
“It was my first time to play against him. We’ve never played each other before, so I am quite happy that I won in the end. A tough start, in the beginning, but, yeah, in the end I think I moved much better and feeling better. Now I have another big task with FAN Zhendong, so looking forward” stated BOLL.
Indeed, the big test is coming tomorrow –FAN Zhendong. The world no.1. overcame Austria’s Daniel HABESOHN in straight matches in Round of 16 (11-8, 13-11, 11-7, 11-2).
LIN Yun-Ju of Taipei proved too strong for Kristian KARLSSON today (11-8, 11-4, 11-7, 4-11, 11-9). Korea Republic’s LEE Sangsu could not stop Koki NIWA from moving on to the final 8 as the Japanese international won 4-2 (11-6, 11-8, 14-16, 11-7, 8-11, 13-11).
MA Long booked his place in the quarter-final after seeing off France’s Simon GAUZY who showed brave face against Chinese star (11-7, 11-8, 9-11, 11-5, 8-11, 15-13).
“It was a tough match, especially after the third game, every game was really close. I have not played matches for a long time, and World Cup is an important tournament, so I felt a bit stressed during the match. I expected that this match would not be easy. Luckily, I won and I still have some time to adjust and get into better shape,” said MA.