04 Feb 2017

Top seed in the Men’s event continued his winning way, the top seed in the Women’s competition returned to winning ways; such was the situation in Antibes, France as play in the second series of first stage matches at the 2017 ITTF-Europe Top Cup came to a conclusion on the evening of Friday 3rd February.

However both the principal boy, Dimitrij Ovtcharov and the leading lady, Turkey’s Hu Melek, experienced severe problems.

by Ian Marshall & Simon Daish

Dimitrij Ovtcharov, who in his opening contest had beaten Portugal’s João Monteiro, the no.13 seed (11-3, 8-11, 11-5, 11-9), recovered from a two games to nil deficit to overcome Frenchman Simon Gauzy, the no.5 seed (7-11, 5-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-6).

Defeat for João Monteiro; there was also a second defeat for the Portuguese star; in the second series of matches, he experienced defeat at the hands of Denmark’s Jonathan Groth, the no.15 seed (11-7, 11-6, 6-11, 11-7)

Meanwhile, for Hu Melek, the decision was even closer. Eventually, she overcame Hungary’s Georgina Pota, the no.8 seed, in a contest where all five games were decided by the minimal two point margin (18-16, 13-15, 11-9, 11-13, 12-10).

“I don’t feel so good today, because this morning I lost the first match three-nil; this match was also very difficult but now I feel a little bit better than this morning”, Hu Melek.

Success for Hu Melek; in the counterpart group contest there was also success for Daniela Monteiro-Dodean. She beat Austria’s Sofia Polcanova (11-9, 7-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-5) and thus is the only unbeaten player in the group after two series of matches.

Disappointment for Austria but there was success. Liu Jia, the no.3 seed, maintained her unbeaten record, she defeated Germany’s Sabine Winter, the no.8 seed (11-7, 4-11, 11-4, 9-11, 11-7).

In the counterpart group contest, the Slovak Republic’s Barbora Balazova, the no.15 seed, caused an upset of note. She accounted for Russia’s Polina Mikhailova, the no.9 seed (11-4, 11-2, 11-9).

Liu Jia remains the only unbeaten player in the group.

 Day One: 2017 ITTF-Europe Top 16 Cup
Photos: Rémy Gros

2017 ITTF-Europe Top 16: Watch the proceedings unfold, live streaming from Antibes each day

Europe Top 16 Dimitrij Ovtcharov Hu Melek

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