MEISSNER puts US star JHA under pressurePhoto: Jörg Fuhrmann, Revierfoto
The opening day of the ninth edition of the Düsseldorf Masters ended, with one exception, with successes for the favourites since the only seeded player Tobias HIPPLER had to congratulate Kirill FADEEV in the duel of the two DTTB talents. In the quarterfinals on Saturday (from 10 am), world number one Dimitrij OVTCHAROV and Patrick FRANZISKA, listed five places behind him, will also play their first matches. All matches can be watched in live streaming on Sportdeutschland.TV, Borussia-TV and on tischtennis.de.
Today, Cedric MEISSER pushed the ITTF-ranked no. 27 Kanak JHA, who plays for Ochsenhausen in the new season, into the seventh game, even though the US player was able to win 11-6 in the decisive game.
MEISSNER, the man from Mainz, 2018 German Youth Champion and participant in the Youth Olympic Games, was happy about his good performance, but was also annoyed about the missed chance: "In the beginning, I found it hard to get into the match. Today, he took my serves, with which he had some problems in the past, much better. I should have been a bit more active and also more variable from time to time, because he plays very safe and makes few mistakes. In the end I was a bit insecure and he consistently kept me in the backhand."
Kanak JHA praised his opponent after the match, who had already made his mark in the eighth Masters with his success over Belgian world-class player Cedric NUYTINCK: “It was my first match for a while, so I knew it would be tough. Cedric is a very good player. We played matches before and it had been close. So I knew it would be tough going against him. I am happy that I won.”
Besides JHA, two other top 100 players were in action on the first day of the tournament. The world number 39 Benedikt DUDA (Bergneustadt) didn't give Lleyton ULLMANN a chance in the round of sixteen, nor did the world number 57, Anton KALLBERG, against Tobias SLANINA. Spanish-Open semi-finalist Steffen MENGEL was in the beginning in troubles, but in a partly worth seeing exchange of blows with Fulda's dangerous left-hander Fanbo MENG he stood his ground in five sets. The favourite almost fell 1-2 behind, but managed to fend off several of games points of Meng in the third set.
MENGEL: "I knew FANBO was in very good shape at the moment. He plays very aggressively and takes a high risk, I had to be prepared for that. It was a very good match between the two of us today."
Two second-league players from the German U23 support squad also reached the quarter-finals, one of them even a little unexpectedly. In the duel of the DTTB junior squad, 19-year-old Kirill FADEEV defeated the two years older, former World Youth Championships quarter-finalist Tobias HIPPLER (Cologne), who was seeded seventh and had formerly managed to defeat world number 38 Omar ASSAR (Egypt) during the Masters tournaments. It was the third meeting of the two left-handers in the past two months. Hippler had been able to hold his own both times before.
In the quarter finals on Saturday, mostly the expected duels for a place in the preliminary round will take place: At the start of the day at 10 am, US star Kanak JHA and Duesseldorf's Swede Anton KALLBERG will determine one not german participant in the semi finals. 45 minutes later, just Saarbruecken's Masters debutant Patrick FRANZISKA will face Kirill FADEEV (Dormund) instead ofTobias HIPPLER from Cologne. At 11.30 a.m. the top seeded former World Cup winner Dimitrij OVTCHAROV will play his opening match against youngster Gerrit ENGEMANN (Hamm). The quarter-final day ends at 12.15 p.m. with the meeting of the national team colleagues Benedikt DUDA (Bergneustadt) and Steffen MENGEL.
So far, Timo BOLL (Masters I), Dimitrij OVTCHAROV (Masters II and III), Bastian STEGER (Masters IV), Benedidkt DUDA (Masters VI), Dang QIU (Masters VII) have won the seven men's tournaments and the only foreign winner so far is the Swede Anton KALLBERG (Masters VIII). The overall ranking is led by Dang QIU from Grünwettersbach with 170 points in front of four players who share second place with 110 points: Dimitrij OVTCHAROV, Benedikt DUDA, Anton KALLBERG and Omar ASSAR. The five best scoring athletes will automatically qualify for the final tournament of the Duesseldorf Masters on 21 and 23 August, three players will receive a wildcard. All tournaments will be broadcast live on Sportdeutschland.TV, Borussia-TV and on tischtennis.de. Before the showdown of the best players, the tenth tournament of the Masters series will take place from August 14th to 16th.
Düsseldorf Masters, 9th tournament (7-9 August)
Round of 16, August 7
Dimitrij Ovtcharov GER (1), bye
Gerrit Engemann GER - An Duy Dang GER 4:0 (4,5,4,6)
Steffen Mengel GER (7) - Fanbo Meng GER 4:1 (-8,7,11,8,3)
Benedikt Duda GER (4) - Lleyton Ullmann GER 4:0 (5,6,3,6)
Kanak Jha USA (set position 3) - Cedric Meissner GER 4:3 (10.7,-7,-9.7,-9.6)
Anton Källberg SWE (5) - Tobias Slanina GER 4:0 (8,7,3,9)
Tobias Hippler GER (8) - Kirill Fadeev GER 1:4 (-10,-6,10,-11,-9)
Patrick Franziska GER (2), bye
Quarter-finals, 8 August (in chronological order)
Kanak Jha USA - Anton Källberg SWE, 10 o'clock
Patrick Franziska GER - Kirill Fadeev GER, immediately following, but not before 10.45 a.m.
Dimitrij Ovtcharov GER - Gerrit Engemann GER, directly after, but not before 11.30 a.m.
Benedikt Duda GER - Steffen Mengel GER, directly after, but not before 12.15 pm