Duesseldorf Masters VI: Duda beats Assar in the final
Benedikt DUDA is the winner of the Duesseldorf Masters VI. The player from Bergneustadt won the final of the fifth men's tournament after a great race to catch up against the Egyptian Omar ASSAR 4-3, who had prevented a German final in the preliminary round with a 4-2 victory over Dang QIU. The next edition in the Masters series will take place at the ARAG CenterCourt from 17 to 19 July, again with world-class participation.
All good things come in threes: After the quarter-final exit in the first tournament against Steffen MENGEL and the semi-final defeat at the fourth edition against Bastian STEGER, Benedikt DUDA secured his first Masters victory at his third start. The 26-year-old left-hander thus continues the so far uninterrupted series of German tournament victories. After the premiere success of Timo BOLL, two times in a row victory for Dimitrij OVTCHAROV and one success for Bastian STEGER, the women's tournament had gone to HAN Ying.
In the todays final match the number 39 won against the one position in the ITTF ranking better classified Egyptian Omar ASSAR 8:11, 10:12, 9:11, 11:4, 11:7, 11:7 and 11:2 despite losing the first three games and catched the four games in a row quite safe after increasing the speed of his game.
Duda was delighted with his remarkable coup after the final: "I don’t like so much to play against OMAR. He takes the balls very early, plays incredibly well from behind and from half distance. In the first three games he played very powerfully and I didn't really know what to do. After that, I just decided to take part in the rallies, play less short short and to increase the speed. In the end it worked out very well."
The defeated ASSAR was not unhappy with his perfomance, even he missed chances in the fifth game: "It was a good finale. I am happy that the spectators saw a good game. After the 3-0 I hoped to win the match and in the fifth set, with a 7-3 lead, I also had my chances. So it's a pity, but Bene was also very strong today. He became more active after he was trailing and then played at a very high level. I tried to adjust my game, but in the end it wasn't enough. Maybe it'll work out next week."
In remarkable semi-finals with four top-60 aces, the two favourites had previously confirmed the seeding list. Benedikt DUDA defeated Anton KALLBERG in six games. The Swede, who like ASSAR plays for Borussia Duesseldorf, only found enough effective means against the powerful game of Duda in two games and declared: " It was not a bad game, but Bene was simply better than me today. He was safer in the game and deserved to win."
Benedikt DUDA was very satisfied with his presentation in the semi-finals: "I don't really like playing against Anton. He made a lot of easy mistakes in the beginning, which of course helped me. Later, he became stronger and the match more balanced, but in the sixth game everything worked out for me so that I could bring home the victory.”
At his fifth participation two-time finalist Dang QIU had to bury his hopes for his first Masters victory in the semi-finals. The Portugal Open winner lost 2-4 to Omar ASSAR and afterwards mourned the loss of the fifth set at the 2-2 score, in which the player from Grünwettersbach had previously fended off four game points and left out some good chances: "Omar played very well. I still had my chance in the fifth set, despite being down 7-10."
ASSAR was happy to bring the match home: "I am very happy about my performance and that I won, because Dang, who becomes stronger and stronger, also played at a high level.”
As the most consistent player so far, Dang QIU leads the overall standings after five Masters men's editions even without winning a tournament. Two finals and three semi-finals have given the World Ranking 52nd comfortable 120 points, putting him in first place ahead of Dimitrij OVTCHAROV (110) and the duo Benedikt DUDA and Omar ASSAR (80 each), who are ranked third. The series will conclude with a final tournament with eight professionals, for which five athletes will qualify on points and three will receive a wildcard.
The seventh edition of the tournament series is scheduled from 17 to 19 July. The Duesseldorf Masters, organized by Borussia Duesseldorf with the support of the German Table Tennis Federation, will be held almost weekly until August at the ARAG CenterCourt in a knockout system with up to 16 world-class players and is intended to shorten the break in competition caused by the Covid 19 pandemic.
Duesseldorf Masters, 6th tournament (10-12 July)
Final, July 12
Omar Assar EGY - Benedikt Duda GER, 13.45
Semifinals, July 12
Omar Assar EGY - Dang Qiu GER 4:2 (6,9,-7,-6,11,9)
Benedikt Duda GER - Anton Kaellberg SWE 4:2 (5,-9,6,9,-5,2)
Quarterfinal, 11 July
Dang Qiu GER - Gerrit Engemann GER 4:0 (7,6,10,11)
Omar Assar EGY - Nils Hohmeier GER 4:1 (8,5,5,-11,5)
Anton Kaellberg SWE - Fanbo Meng GER 4:0 (8,7,9,9)
Benedikt Duda GER - Tobias Hippler GER 4:2 (7,-13,5,1,-9,10)