Timo BOLL is the No. 1 seed in new tournament series
No national league matches, no Champions League, no international tournaments - table tennis professionals have not competed for many weeks due to the Corona pandemic. But that will change by next Monday. On 1 June will be the kick-off for the new tournament series "Düsseldorf Masters".
The new format, which will be played almost weekly at the ARAG CenterCourt from June to August, the home of Germany’s top club Borussia Düsseldorf, is intended to give the German national team players, the players of Borussia Düsseldorf and the players of the training group at the German Table Tennis Centre in Düsseldorf intensive practice matches. Timo BOLL, Dimitrij OVTCHAROV and Patrick FRANZISKA, three world-class table tennis aces, are among the participants. Four players from the world's top 50 as well as four other athletes from the top 100 make the Düsseldorf Masters a - on this level - unique tournament format during the pandemic.
Weekly tournaments, final in August
The tournament, which is organized by Borussia Düsseldorf with the support of the German Table Tennis Association, will take place at the start (1-2 June) and in the second week of June (8-9 June) as a two-day format. From the third week of the tournament onwards, matches will be played on three weekdays. The Düsseldorf Masters will be played in a knock-out system with up to 16 participants. The series will conclude with a final tournament with eight professionals in August, for which the athletes must qualify or be enter through a wildcard.
The premiere at the beginning of June has already attracted top-class participants. Düsseldorf‘s Timo BOLL, currently ranked 10th in the world ranking list, leads ahead of Orenburg's Dimitrij OVTCHAROV (11) and Boll’s Swedish Bundesleague team-mate Kristian KARLSSON (24). The start on Monday is at 9.30 am CEST with the first round of 16 match, followed by the seven other matches of this round and one quarter-final. On Tuesday the three further matches of the 2nd round will take place as well as the semi-finals and the final, all best of 5.
Coach ROSSKOPF: „Players absolutely thrilled“ / Free Livestream of all matches
"With this tournament series, we are pioneers for table tennis all over the world in these times. Table tennis fans worldwide will focus Düsseldorf from Monday on," says Borussia Düsseldorf‘s manager Andreas PREUSS. "The Düsseldorf Masters are a great opportunity to play regular competition again after weeks of pure practice," adds Germany‘s men's national head coach Jörg ROSSKOPF. "Our players were absolutely thrilled when we presented this idea to them."
Both days of the opening tournament and all other Düsseldorf Masters events will be broadcasted live on sportdeutschland.tv, www.tischtennis.de and on Borussia TV in full and with three cameras. Spectators on site are not admitted due to the pandemic. Here is the draw of the first event, done by former World Doubles Champion ROSSKOPF:
ARAG CenterCourt, Düsseldorf
Round of 16
1 Benedikt DUDA (5) - Gerrit ENGEMANN (13), 1 June, 9.30 am CEST
2 Steffen MENGEL (8) - Dennis KLEIN (14)
3 Anton KÄLLBERG (7) - Nils HOHMEIER (12)
4 Omar ASSAR (4) - Benno OEHME (15)
5 Dimitrij OVTCHAROV (2) - Fanbo MENG (10)
6 Timo BOLL (1) - Kirill FADEEV (16)
7 Kristian KARLSSON (3) - Cedric MEISSNER (11)
8 Dang QIU (6) - Tobias HIPPLER (9)
9 BOLL/FADEEV - KÄLLBERG/HOHMEIER, 1 June
10 ASSAR/OEHME - KARLSSON/MEISSNER, 2 June, 9.30 CEST
11 DUDA/ENGEMANN - MENGEL/KLEIN
12 QIU/HIPPLER - OVTCHAROV/MENG
13 Winner 9 - 10, 2 June
14 Winner 11 - 12
15 Winner 13 - 14, 2 June