by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
In the vital seventh game, after leading 5-4 when the players changed ends, making uncharacteristic errors, he won just one of the next seven points to trail 6-10. All appeared lost, relaxed, nothing to lose, quite incredibly, he won the next six points to steal victory.
It was just one recovery in a match of recoveries; an engagement which appeared to destined for Dimitrij Ovtcharov, after what at the time appeared a crucial momentum changing fourth game.
Leading two games to one, Dimitrij Ovtcharov established a 9-7 lead; Timo Boll elected for “Time Out”. The next point went to Dimitrij Ovtcharov as a rather hesitant forehand from Timo Boll flew long. Resolute, Timo Boll won the next two points. Now leading 10-9, Dimitrij Ovtcharov called “Time Out”; the decision worked to perfection, a three games to one lead was established.
Facing defeat, Timo Boll recovered, he won the fifth game; in the sixth he lost the first three points, it seemed Dimitrij Ovtcharov had stemmed the tide. It was not the situation; Timo Boll won the next nine points. Matters were level, the scene was set; the actors delivered, a final to remember. Dimitrij Ovtcharov, stole the show and the match.
It was the fourth time that two German players had met in an ITTF World Tour Men’s Singles final, the second occasion when the contest had featured Timo Boll and Dimitrij Ovtcharov. In 2012 Dimitrij Ovtcharov had beaten Timo Boll in the final in Germany.
Defeat for Timo Boll but on the other two occasions it had been success; in 2009 in Poland, he beat Bastian Steger in the final; earlier this year in Korea, he accounted for Patrick Franziska to secure the top prize.
Overall it was the 28th ITTF World Tour Men’s Singles final for Timo Boll, his ninth defeat; for Dimitrij Ovtcharov his 13th such appearance, his seventh win but I suspect the one he will remember the most.