Dimitrij Ovtcharov is the last German man standing in the men’s singles competition at the German Open table tennis championships in Magdeburg.
With his illustrious teammate Timo Boll bowing out to second seeded Chinese Fan Zhendong in the last 16, Ovtcharov kept the German hopes alive with a hard earned 8-11, 14-12, 16-18, 11-9, 3-11, 11-6, 12-10 win over Chinese Taipei’s Chuah Chih Yuan.
The 38-year-old Chih Yuan had accounted for Japan’s rising teenage star Tomokazu Harimoto in the opening round and was giving the tenth seeded German some anxious times.
The third game in the match was especially tense with Ovtcharov unable to convert game point and instead had to go on the defensive. He saved numerous game points against himself but eventually lost the game to Chih Yuan.
The deciding game was another thriller with Chih Yuan coming back from 1-7 down to take a 8-7 lead. It was a touch and go battle between the two before Ovtcharov took the game and match on his second game point advantage.
Ovtcharov would be looking to win his fourth German Open title. Magdeburg has been a happy hunting ground for Ovtcharov, who had won the title in the city in 2014 and 2017.
Boll, who has been the standard flagbearer for the German side in most major competitions for the past decade, just could not find a way past his younger opponent. Boll gave it all but it was Zhendong who walked away with a 11-9, 11-7, 8-11, 11-9, 4-11, 11-9 winner.
To underline Chih Yuan and Boll’s longevity in the game, both players would be among the favourites for the next World Veteran Championships in Oman in 2022.
Chinese players continued their domination in the competition with five of the eight quarter-finals. In the women’s singles, their stranglehold was even more evident as they dominate with seven quarter-finalists.
Japan’s Mima Ito is the sole non-Chinese player in the women’s singles competition. The fourth seeded 19-year-old defeated teammate and qualifier Honoka Hashimoto 11-6, 11-9, 11-3, 9-11, 11-9 to book her place in the last eight.
While the Chinese players were at the forefront, it was a good day for the Japanese players. Jun Mizutani is also in the men’s quarter-finals after his upset win over Chinese-Taipei’s superstar Lin Yun Ju, the fourth seed. Mizutani won in dramatic fashion, coming back from the brink after losing the first three games before winning 10-12, 6-11, 9-1, 11-5, 11-8, 11-7, 12-10.
Earlier, Mizutani and his partner Ito gunned down Yun Ju-Cheng-I Ching 11-2, 11-8, 11-7 in the mixed doubles semi-finals. The Japanese duo will play favourites Xu Xin-Liu Shiwen of China in the final.
In the women’s doubles, the Japanese duo of Kasumi Ishikawa-Miu Hirano stormed into the final with two stunning wins. In the quarter-finals, the sixth seeds, pulled off a stunning 11-2, 11-7, 9-11, 11-6 win over second seeds Chen Szu Yu-Cheng Hsien Tzu. They followed it up with another upset, this time a 10-12, 11-8, 11-8, 12-10 win over China’s third seeds Ding Ning-Sun Yingsha.
The pair would be looking to turn the formbooks upside down once again in the final, where they would be up against top seeds Chen Meng-Wang Manyu of China.
The men’s doubles final will see Koreans Cho Daeseong-Jang Woojin taking on second seeds Lin Gaoyuan-Ma Long. Daeseonf-Woojin, who had to play in the qualifying rounds to earn their main draw berth, upset top seeds and teammates Jeoung Youngsik-Lee Sangsu 11-8, 11-5, 7-11, 11-3 in the semi-finals.
LAST 16: Fan Zhendong (Chn) bt Timo Boll (Ger) 11-9, 11-7, 8-11, 11-9, 4-11, 11-9; Zhao Zihao (Chn) bt Benedikt Duda (Ger) 7-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-5, 10-12, 11-8, 11-8; Lin Gaoyuan (Chn) bt Koki Niwa (Jpn) 11-7, 9-11, 7-11, 11-5, 10-12, 18-16, 11-8; Ma Long (Chn) bt Xu Chenhao (Chn) 7-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-5, 11-5; Dimitrij Ovtcharov (Ger) bt Chuang Chih-Yuan (Tpe) 8-11, 14-12, 16-18, 11-9, 3-11, 11-6, 12-10; Cho Seungmin (Kor) bt Simon Gauzy (Fra) 14-12, 11-9, 6-11, 11-6, 11-5; Xu Xin (Chn) bt Mizuki Oikawa (Jpn) 11-3, 9-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-7; Jun Mizutani (Jpn) bt Lin Yun-Ju (Tpe) 10-12, 6-11, 9-11, 11-5, 11-78, 11-7, 12-10
LAST 16: Sun Yingsha (Chn) bt Kasumi Ishikawa (Jpn) 11-5, 11-3, 14-12, 12-10; Ding Ning (Chn) bt Hina Hayata (Jpn) walkover; Wang Manyu (Chn) bt Saki Shibata (Jpn) 10-12, 11-7, 7-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-8; Chen Meng (Chn) bt Qian Tianyi (Chn) 11-6, 10-12, 11-9, 11-4, 11-8; Zhu Yuling (Chn) bt Petrissa Solja (Ger)11-9, 11-9, 11-6, 11-5; Mima Ito (Jpn) bt Honoka Hashimoto (Jpn) 11-6, 1-9, 11-3, 9-11, 11-9; Liu Shiwei (Chn) bt Zhang Rui (Chn) 9-11, 11-9, 11-3, 11-9, 11-6; Wang Yidi (Chn) bt He Zhoujia (Chn) 12-10, 11-5, 11-6, 11-5
QUARTER-FINALS: Jakub Dyjas-Cedric Nuytinck (Ger) bt Patrick Franziska-Dimitrij Ovtcharov (Ger) 12-10, 13-11, 7-11, 9-11, 11-5; Jeoung Youngsik-Lee Sangsu (Kor) bt Fan Zhendong-Zhou Yu (Chn) 7-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-4; Lin Gaoyuan-Ma Long (Chn) bt Martin Allegro-Florent Lambiet (Bel) 11-5, 11-7, 11-6; Cho Daeseong-Jang Woojin (Kor) bt Shunsuke Togami-Yukiya Uda (Jpn) 11-3, 9-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-4
SEMI-FINALS: Lin Gaoyuan-Ma Long (Chn) bt Jakub Dyjas-Cedric Nuytinck (Ger) 11-9, 12-10, 6-11, 6-11, 11-6; Cho Daeseong-Jang Woojin (Kor) bt Jeoung Youngsik-Lee Sangsu (Kor) 11-8, 11-5, 7-11, 11-3
QUARTER-FINALS: Chen Meng-Wang Manyu (Chn) bt Lee Ho Ching-Minnie Soo Wai Yam (Hkg) 11-6, 11-5, 11-2; Nina Mittelham-Petrissa Solja (Ger) bt Choi Hyojoo-Shin Yubin (Kor) 16-14, 4-11, 13-11, 11-9; Ding Ning-Sun Yingsha (Chn) bt Lin Ye-Yu Mengyu (Sgp) 11-5, 11-9, 11-7; Miu Hirano-Kasumi Ishikawa (Jpn) bt Chen Szu-Yu-Cheng Hsien-Tzu (Tpe) 11-2, 11-7, 9-11, 11-6
SEMI-FINALS: Chen Meng-Wang Manyu (Chn) bt Nina Mittelham-Petrissa Solja (Ger) 11-4, 7-11, 15-13, 11-4; Miu Hirano-Kasumi Ishikawa (Jpn) bt Ding Ning-Sun Yingsha (Chn) 10-12, 11-8, 11-7, 12-10
QUARTER-FINALS: Patrick Franziska-Petrissa Solja (Ger) bt Wong Chun Ting-Doo Hoi Kem (Hkg) 11-5, 11-4, 15-13; Xu Xin-Liu Shiwen (Chn) bt Ho Kwan Kit-Lee Ho Ching (Hkg) 11-5, 11-5, 11-8; Lin Yun-Ju-Cheng I-Ching (Tpe) bt Lubomir Pistej-Barbora Balazova (Svk) 9-11, 12-10, 11-7, 11-7; Jun Mizutani-Mima Ito (Jpn) bt Alvaro Robles-Maria Xiao (Esp) walkover
SEMI-FINALS: Xu Xin-Liu Shiwen (Chn) bt Patrick Franziska-Petrissa Solja (Ger) 11-5, 10-12, 11-2, 9-11, 11-5; Jun Mizutani-Mima Ito (Jpn) bt Lin Yun-Ju-Cheng I-Ching (Tpe) 11-2, 11-8, 11-7