by Ian Marshall, Editor
Following his success in 2012 in Bremen, he won in Magdeburg in both 2014 and in 2017; notably beating players who are likewise on duty this year.
In 2012 and 2017 he overcame colleague Timo Boll to arrest the title; on 2014 he accounted for Japan’s Jun Mizutani. Now in 2020, Dimitrij Ovtcharov is the no.11 seed, Timo Boll the no.10 seed, Jun Mizutani the no.14 seed.
Moreover, whenever the tournament has been played in Magdeburg, a European player has always reached the men’s singles final. In addition to the efforts of Dimitrij Ovtcharov, Vladimir Samsonov of Belarus was beaten in the final in 2002 by China’s Ma Lin; three years later in 2005, he accounted for a promising 17 year old also from China, named Ma Long.
Two wins for Vladimir Samsonov and Dimitrij Ovtcharov at an ITTF World Tour German Open but both have to stand in line behind the all time most successful since the tournament was first staged in 1999 in Bremen.
Having to settle for runners up spot, their best in Magdeburg, in other German cities Timo Boll and Ma Long have each won four times. Timo Boll won in Leipzig (2004), Bayreuth (2006), Berlin 2008) and Bremen (2009); meanwhile Ma Long succeeded in Berlin (2016) but has a special penchant for Bremen where he won three times (2009, 2015, 2018).
Former winners on duty this year; you can add to the list Fan Zhendong, the defending champion who also won in 2013 in Berlin; he is the no.2 seed, ahead of Ma Long. However, there also most worthy names who have reached the final but never won; Chinese Taipei’s Chuang Chih-Yuan, who this year must play in the qualification tournament, was the runner up in 2008 losing to Timo Boll.
Notable but the most notable of all is that of China’s Xu Xin, the runner up in both 2018 and 2019, he has never won the men’s singles title at an ITTF World Tour German Open. Could 2020 be a first?
Familiar names and very familiar, the tournament is a favourite destination.
Quite incredibly, in the 20 year history of the ITTF World Tour German Open, there is only one men’s singles final in which at least one player whose name appears in 2020 did not appear.
The exception is 2003 in Bremen when an all-Chinese final witnessed success for Ma Lin against Wang Hao.
New names in the men’s singles final in 2020, history suggests familiar faces.
ITTF World Tour German Open: Men’s Singles – Finalists (1999 – 2019)