Dimitrij Ovtcharov and Petrissa Solja Crowned Europe Top 16 Champions

(Photos: ITTF)

Germany has come away with both gold medals on offer at the 2019 Europe Top 16 Cup competition in Montreux, Switzerland with Dimitrij Ovtcharov and Petrissa Solja taking the plaudits in the respective Men’s and Women’s Singles events.

In a fierce contest the Europe Top 16 champion in 2012, 2015, 2016 and 2017 Dimitrij Ovtcharov was pushed right down to the wire by Belarus’ Vladimir Samsonov needing the full seven game distance to claim an impressive fifth Men’s Singles title (6-11, 11-8, 11-3, 14-16, 6-11, 11-7, 12-10).

“The game had so many ups and downs for both of us. I could have finished four-one but I missed the opportunity. Samsonov was always there, he looked for every chance to come back; he covered every angle and every spot on the table. Vladi had the advantage in the sixth game and even bigger in seventh but no matter how tired I was, I thought he was even more, so I kept pushing. It was a similar match like against Boll, small points made big differences. I am so happy I came back from injury and few heavy defeats.” Dimitrij Ovtcharov

Success for Dimitrij Ovtcharov and it was the same story for fellow compatriot Petrissa Solja who reached the top step of the podium in the Women’s Singles tournament.

At the final hurdle the no.5 seed pulled off a sensational comeback from 0-3 down to defeat 2018 champion Bernadette Szocs [Romania] by a 4-3 margin (9-11, 9-11, 6-11, 12-10, 11-8, 11-8, 11-4).

“I was very nervous at the beginning. I did not play at my best. Also, Bernadette knows my service game, she can read my spin. After I lost three games, my coach encouraged me to win at least one game, to play with less pressure. Slowly I returned into the match. I was thinking only about next point. We have played against each other since the cadet days. Who knows how many matches we played in juniors and cadets and mostly in finals. I am happy that we are playing finals as seniors now, that we both are among top European players.” – Petrissa Solja

Over in theMen’s Singles bronze medal contest there was further joy for Germany as Timo Boll produced a 4-3 victory over Austria’s Daniel Habesohn event (11-7, 11-4, 7-11, 9-11, 3-11, 12-10, 11-5) while another Austrian in Sofia Polcanova got the job done against Poland’s Natalia Partyka in the Women’s Singles draw (7-11, 11-5, 7-11, 12-10, 11-7, 11-6).

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