by Simon Daish
In January 2017’s ITTF World Rankings table, 28-year-old Stefan Fegerl is Austria’s highest ranked male table tennis player occupying 19th position. Fegerl heads into the 2017 ITTF Europe Top 16 Cup as the sixth highest ranked competitor set to travel for the Men’s Singles event.
Fegerl is no stranger to success on the European stage: he won two gold medals at the Liebherr 2015 European Championships helping the Austria squad to the the Men’s Team title following a 3-2 victory over Germany before Fegerl partnered up with Portugal’s João Monteiro to claim the Men’s Doubles trophy in Ekaterinburg, Russia.
With the 2017 Europe Top 16 competition approaching, Fegerl states he is happy to be making an appearance at the tournament on the French Riviera but he is also aware of the challenge that awaits him in Antibes.
“This is my second time to be invited for the Europe Top 16 Cup. I am happy that my ranking is high enough to be a part of it. The best players from the continent are present. It is the highest standard tournament in Europe. Everyone can win the tournament. So it is a really tough competition”, Stefan Fegerl.
Group stage victories over Vladimir Samsonov, Pär Gerell and Adrien Mattenet put Stefan Fegerl through to the quarter-finals stage of the 2016 Europe Top 16 competition but then the Austrian player went on to suffer an unfortunate defeat to Sweden’s Kristian Karlsson.
However, a solid performance against Portugal’s Tiago Apolonia ensured a top six finish for Fegerl at last year’s tournament and the Austrian is hoping for another strong showing at the 2017 edition of the event in early February.
“I finished in sixth place in 2016. So I qualified for the World Cup in Saarbrücken. My goal is the same like last year, to qualify for the 2017 World Cup”, Stefan Fegerl.
The 2017 ITTF Europe Top 16 Cup is set to commence on Friday 3rd February before drawing to a close on Sunday 5th February.