Duesseldorf Masters VIII: German Duel DUDA vs MEISSNER in the semi-final
Benedikt DUDA against Cedric MEISSNER and Omar ASSAR against Anton KALLBERG, these are the semi-finals of the eighth Duesseldorf Masters with three favourites and one U23 national player. The preliminary round matches on Saturday will be played at 10 and 10.45 a.m., the final at 1 p.m. at the ARAG CenterCourt. All matches will be broadcast live on Sportdeutschland.TV, Borussia-TV and on tischtennis.de.
In the second semi-final on Saturday at 10.45 am, it will be a German duel between the second-seeded Benedikt DUDA (Bergneustadt) and outsider Cedric MEISSNER, who showed maturity yesterday in his 4-2 victory over world number 71 Cedric NUYTINCK (Belgium) and also today in the U23 duel with Tobias HIPPLER. The 20-year-old second-division player from Mainz beat his one-year-older opponent from Cologne 11-9, 11-9, 6-11, 13-11, 8-11 and 11-2, who was himself the tournament surprise one week ago when he had beaten Egyptian star Omar ASSAR.
Youth Olympic participant MEISSNER was happy about his first entry into a Masters semi-final: "I lost three times narrowly against Tobias last year, always in the fifth game, once only because of a controversial referee decision. That's why I'm all the more pleased to have won today. I said it yesterday that I'm in a better shape than in the last few weeks. It's great that I made it to the semi-finals."
HIPPLER knew the reason for his defeat today: "Cedric played better than the last few times, also tactically a bit different. That took me a bit by surprise. In the first game I ran into a long serve twice at 9-9, in the second game I made two easy mistakes at 9-9 and my own service. When you're running behind all the time, it's not that easy. But: Cedric played well and it's okay that he won."
Also eliminated in the quarter finals is Nils HOHMEIER. The 22-year-old Bundesliga player of the TTC OE Bad Homburg, 2016 European Youth Champion in Doubles together with HIPPLER, was not unexpectedly defeated by Benedikt DUDA, who could now take his second Masters title on Saturday after winning the sixth tournament two weeks ago.
DUDA was satisfied with his performance, which ended 11:9, 11:5, 12:10 and 11:4: "Nils played quite well and was very powerful in the rallies, so I tried to play a lot of short-short to interrupt his rhythm. Two games were very tight, he could have won them, and he had easy chances".
Right at the start of the day, Steffen MENGEL (Mühlhausen) had to let Anton KALLBERG, the finalist of the previous week, enter the round of the best four in a hard-fought duel. The Swede stood his ground in six games with 11:8, 11:9, 7;11, 11:9, 12:14 and 11:7 against the semi-finalist of the Spanish Open and was happy about his performance: "I think I played very well. I played good returns in the games I won. Also with my service I often had advantages today. I was very satisfied with my strong topspin from the forehand as well as from backhand side".
The adevrasy in the semis of the World Ranking-57th will be, as expected, the Egyptian Omar ASSAR, who fully lived up to his role as favourite today when he beat Kirill FADEEV from Dortmund 4-1, in the first semi-final on Saturday at 10 o'clock. The 19-year-old second-division player, coached by his this time injured teammate Dennis Klein, pulled out all the stops against the multiple African champion in 4:9, 11:9, 9:11, 4:11 and 8:11.
The experienced Egyptian praised his young opponent: "Kirill played very strongly today, especially in the second game. He was very active and had a smart tactic. You can feel that Kirill has improved and I am happy for him. My performance today was better than last week, but I hope that I can improve even more tomorrow in the semi-final against Anton".
Duesseldorf Masters, 8th tournament (23-25 July)
Final, July 25
Semifinals, July 25
Anton Kaellberg SWE - Omar Assar EGY, 10 o'clock
Benedikt Duda GER - Cedric Meissner GER, directly after, but not before 10.45 a.m.
Quarterfinal, July 24
Omar Assar EGY - Kirill Fadeev GER 4:1 (4,-9,9,4,8)
Steffen Mengel GER - Anton Kaellberg SWE 2:4 (-8.-9.7.-9.12.-7)
Tobias Hippler GER - Cedric Meissner GER 2:4 (-9,-9,6,-11,8,-2)
Benedikt Duda GER - Nils Hohmeier GER 4:0 (9,5,10,4)