International Events | 29 Oct 2022
HARIMOTO halted OVTCHAROV in semis of the WTT Cup Finals Xinxiang 2022
Japanese in outstanding form, Tomokazu HARIMOTO, defeated Olympic bronze medalists Dimitrij OVTCHAROV in the semi-finals of the WTT Cup Finals Xinxiang 2022. It is the third German ace in a row, after HARIMOTO had already beaten record European champion Timo BOLL in the quarter-finals the day before and in the round of 16 on Thursday the World’s no. 13 Patrick FRANZISKA
OVTCHAROV had consolation in 37,500 dollars prize money and 525 world ranking points, but much more importantly with yesterday's quarter-final triumph over World’s number one FAN Zhendong (China). In the final on Sunday, HARIMOTO meets either China's Olympic champion MA Long or his compatriot WANG Chuqin. In the women's final, two players from China will face each other: World number one SUN Yingsha will face either Olympic champion CHEN Meng or World champion WANG Manyu.
Former world number one Dimitrij Ovtcharov ungrudgingly acknowledged his opponent's performance:
"My respect: HARIMOTO played flawlessly and built up a lot of pressure with his strong shots. I'm actually someone who is very strong in the longer rallies, but I have them today almost all of them lost. That also has an effect on my self-confidence in my serve and return game."
The outcome of the more than three-week trip to Asia by the Olympic bronze medalist from Tokyo and London to the WTT tournaments in Macao and Xinxiang is extremely positive: "The Champions and the Cup Finals were two great tournaments in terms of the cast, there is a world-class opponent after the others, it's amazing training. It's great for me to have played so many matches against such good players. I'll learn a lot from both wins and losses. Above all, yesterday's win over FAN Zhendong showed me that after as before, anything is possible and gives me a lot of confidence. If I keep working hard on myself, I can keep improving my level and then keep it in the tournament for a longer period of time. Then I can win against Harimoto again in the future, even if I did today didn't stand a chance."