02 Feb 2019

Defending champions, Germany’s Timo Boll and Romania’s Bernadette Szocs made their intentions crystal clear in the opening round of play at the CCB 2019 Europe Top 16 Cup in Montreux, Switzerland on Saturday 2nd February; both emerged successful.

There was no stopping Timo Boll, he hit a golden patch; for Bernadette Szocs, life was more testing, she need to stem a recovery.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Emphatically, Timo Boll, the top seed in the men’s event set the standard; playing at a level which took him to the top spot on the world rankings, he beat Portugal’s Tiago Apolonia, the no.13 seed in four straight games (11-3, 11-4, 11-5, 11-5).

“I guess I had a perfect 25 minutes. The conditions are a little bit hard. The table is slippery, so it takes time to adjust. I guess I did it faster than Tiago. I was focused on each ball.” Timo Boll

Timo Boll adapted at lightning speed, for Bernadette Szocs, life was more difficult, she had to withstand somewhat of a recovery. Eventually, she overcame the Czech Republic’s Hana Matelova, the no.12 seed, in six games (11-5, 11-9, 11-13, 11-7, 11-13, 11-8).

“I was two games up and led 6-1, before Hana started to play like she had nothing to lose. She attacked me on each ball. Hana is very difficult to play against owing to my style of play. I am so happy that I won the opening match. I am defending the title here and this is special place for me. Top 16 is my major title.” Bernadette Szocs

At the quarter-final stage Bernadette Szocs meets either Li Jie of the, also from the Netherlands or Slovakia’s Barbora Balazova. Meanwhile, for Timo Boll in the round of the last eight, Sweden’s Kristian Karlsson, is the adversary.

The matches will be played later in the day.

2019 Europe Top 16 Cup Timo Boll Bernadette Szocs Tiago Apolonia Hana Matelova

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Day 2 - China Construction Bank 2019 ITTF-Europe Top 16 Cup