by Ian Marshall, Editor
Victory for Timo Boll means that in the tournament which first saw the light of day in 1971 in Zadar, he equals the record of Sweden’s Jan-Ove Waldner; he won on seven occasions between 1984 in Bratislava and 1996 Charleroi.
Imposingly through to the semi-finals in some style; the now 38 year old continued his good form on the concluding day of action. At the semi-final stage he accounted for Austria’s Robert Gardos, the no.12 seed (12-10, 11-8, 7-11, 11-6, 11-5), before overcoming Darko Jorgic, the no.14 seed (4-11, 11-1, 13-11, 15-13, 11-8) to seal the top prize.
The 21 year old Slovenian proved the tournament’s revelation; like Timo Boll he maintained his form of the first day when he had beaten Vladimir Samsonov of Belarus, the no.6 seed and four times champion in the opening round (8-11, 11-4, 11-9, 11-7, 12-10). In the penultimate round, he ended the progress of Croatia’s Tomislav Pucar, the no.11 seed and likewise making his debut in the illustrious tournament.
Impressively, Darko Jorgic prevailed in five games (4-11, 11-1, 13-11, 15-13, 11-8).
Defeat for Tomislav Pucar, it was the same in the third place contest, by the narrowest of margins he was beaten by Robert Gardos (9-11, 11-9, 11-9, 2-11, 8-11, 11-4, 11-9). Bronze for Robert Gardos, his first ever podium finish in the tournament.
Seven the number for Timo Boll, for Petrissa Solja she follows in the footsteps of fellow German Qianhong Gotsch, Hungary’s Beatrix Kishazi, Sweden’s Ann-Christin Hellman and England’s Jill Parker who all successfully defended their hard earned titles, as did Luxembourg’s Ni Xia Lian, Austria’s Liu Jia and Li Jiao of the Netherlands.
Occupying the no.2 seeded position; after having accounted for Ukraine’s Margaryta Pesotska, the no.7 seed, in the penultimate round (11-3, 10-12, 11-6, 16-14, 11-7), Petrissa Solja recovered from a two games to nil deficit against Britt Eerland of the Netherlands, the no.10 seed (8-11, 6-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-8, 11-7) to retain the crown.
Ousted top seed
Notably, Britt Eerland was very much a player in form; at the semi-final stage she had beaten Austria’s Sofia Polcanova, the top seed (11-6, 11-7, 6-11, 11-8, 11-9). A silver medal was her lot, a major achievement, her first ever place on the tournament’s podium.
Disappointment for Sofia Polcanova but there was consolation; just as last year she finished in third place, it was same again; in the play-off contest, she overcame Margaryta Pesotska in five games (8-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-8, 11-5).
Overall, taking into account both men’s and women’s events, a total of 23 gold medals is the record for Germany in the history of the competition, next with 16 gold is Sweden.
Clear of the field and in Montreux very much the same for Timo Boll and Petrissa Solja, never extended the full seven games distance; quite outstanding.