by Ian Marshall, Editor
Familiar names from last year, notably in the Men’s Singles event, also from Germany, Dimitrij Ovtcharov, the runner up, will be present as will Denmark’s Jonathan Groth and Vladimir Samsonov of Belarus, beaten semi-finalists.
However, note two new names who have shone in the past six months; England’s Liam Pitchford, is the no.4 seed; Ovidiu Ionescu is the no.14 seed. Contrary to expectations, Ovidiu Ionescu concluded matters the runner up at the Liebherr 2018 European Championships in Alicante, losing to Timo Boll; Liam Pitchford excelled on the Seamaster ITTF World Tour.
Most notably in Bulgaria he accounted for China’s Ma Long, the reigning Olympic and World champion, in the opening round; one week later he beat Dimitrij Ovtcharov in the Czech Republic, prior to ending the hopes of Timo Boll in Austria.
Two new names in the Men’s Singles event from last year and there are two more; the name of Portugal’s Marcos Freitas appears, more significantly does that of Austria’s Daniel Habesohn. Injury forced Marcos Freitas to withdraw from the 2018 edition; for Daniel Habesohn, reliable rather that dramatic performances have seen him rise the rankings. Most significantly on the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour, he reached the quarter-final round in consecutive weeks in Bulgaria and the Czech Republic.
It is very similar with regards to the new names in the Women’s event; nothing dramatic, just simply reliable. Britt Eerland of the Netherlands, Germany’s Nina Mittelham, Poland’s Natalia Partyka all appear on the entry list as do the names of the Czech Republic’s Hana Matelova and Barbora Balazova.
New names and there is an influencing factor, each national association is restricted to a maximum two players in each of the Men’s and Women’s events, previously the number was four.
CCB Europe Top 16 Cup: Confirmed Entries Tuesday 18th December)