by Simon Daish
With over 260 world ranking places splitting Bastian Steger (20th) and David Powell (283rd), it was always going to be an uphill task for the underdog player from Australia.
Only four games were required to settle the match, as Steger picked up a pleasing result for the home fans in Saarbrücken.
The opening game was the closest scoreline between the two competitors with a five point margin going in Steger’s favour, and before too long a 20- lead was established in the tie.
Steger was looking stronger by the minute and another two game wins followed to temporarily move the German into top spot in group 1 (11-6, 11-4, 11-4, 11-5).
While Bastian Steger is happy with his opening victory, he is wary of his next opponent in the group Hugo Calderano (BRA):
“It was quite easy from the look of the match but I have to be focused and concentrate. It was a perfect start for me but I admit that my second match will be very tough against Hugo Calderano. We have met twice in the Bundesliga and German Cup. It was a close match but I know the match against him will be a very hard one.” – Bastian Steger (Germany).
Australian representative David Powell, who fits his table tennis practice around his full-time job, feels that there is room for improvement heading into his next group encounter, “It was a very difficult match for me particularly playing against a player who plays regularly with his contemporaries, unlike me who only trains twice a week with my full-time job.”
“It was a very hard game for me because my opponent was in charge throughout,” added Powell. “I feel I did not have control of the match as he dominated. Hopefully in my second match, I will be more relaxed and get into the rhythm.”