21 Jun 2020

Preparations on course for an impending return to international action; that is clearly the fact for Dimitrij Ovtcharov.

On Wednesday 17th June, the 31 year old won the Düsseldorf Masters for the second consecutive week.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Safely through to the semi-final stage, following success the previous day, the top seed, he renewed acquaintances with a familiar friend and foe. He beat Qiu Dang, the no.4 seed (7-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-8, 11-5) to reserve his place in the final.

Notably, each week they have met, the balance is now in favour of Dimitrij Ovtcharov. In the initial tournament, Qiu Dang prevailed in their quarter-final clash (11-5, 15-17, 11-7, 7-11, 11-9), in the second edition Dimitrij Ovtcharov succeeded when they met in the final (11-7, 11-2, 7-11, 11-6).

“Dima and I played against each other for the third time in three weeks. We also often train together; Dima has now adjusted very well when playing against me. He was getting more and more into his rhythm. I wasn’t so good myself today and made mistakes. Dima deserved to win 4-1.” Qiu Dang

Qiu Dang gracious in defeat (Photo: Matthias Ernst)


More exacting

Imposing from the second game onwards against Qiu Dang; facing Omar Assar, the no.3 seed, in the final, life was more exacting.

Dimitrij Ovtcharov was extended the full distance (11-9, 11-7, 10-12, 8-11,11-8, 8-11, 11-6), a contest that was somewhat reminiscent of when they had met in the opening round of the men’s singles event at the 2016 ITTF World Tour German Open in Berlin. On that occasion he had also required seven games to achieve success (8-11, 11-6, 11-5, 11-7, 15-17, 9-11, 11-7).

“After a good start from me and a 2-0 lead it was a close match. I have not always won clearly against Omar internationally. I didn’t feel too safe today and therefore lost concentration, he simply played without any mistakes. I always wanted to play fast, but he wanted to play slow; that got me out of rhythm. It was a tough match; in the end I’m glad I brought it home.” Dimitrij Ovtcharov

A brave recovery but Omar Assar had to settle for second place (Photo: Matthias Ernst)



Defeat for Omar Assar but it was to some extent progress, having on his one previous appearance, experienced a quarter-final defeat in the first edition at the hands of Kristian Karlsson (11-6, 11-1, 11-3).

“It was a great pity that I did not win. It was a very close match and I had my chances to win. Even though I lost by a narrow margin, I am very happy to have played at this level again.” Omar Assar

Earlier, in the penultimate Omar Assar had ended the hopes of Kanak Jha, the no.2 seed (11-4, 9-11, 10-12, 11-4, 11-9, 11-8).

Kanak Jha beaten by Omar Assar (Photo: Matthias Ernst)



On the Standings, Dimitrij Ovtcharov leads with 110 points, followed by Qiu Dang 70 points and Timo Boll 50 points. Proceedings will conclude in August with a tournament involving eight players, five according to points gained, three wild cards.


Live Broadcast:

Monday 15th June: Round One
Cédric Meissner (7) bt Felix Köhler 7-11, 12-10, 11-6, 11-9, 11-7
Omar Assar (3) bt An Duy Dang 11-3, 11-5, 11-6, 11-3
Meng Fanbo (6) bt Tobias Slanina 11-6, 11-3, 11-7, 12-10
Tobias Hippler (5) bt Kirill Fadeev 11-7, 11-5, 11-8, 6-11, 11-8
Qiu Dang (4) bt André Bertelsmeier 11-8, 11-5, 11-7, 11-8
Gerrit Engemann bt Nils Hohmeier (8) 11-4, 11-5, 11-8, 11-5

Tuesday 16th June: Quarter Finals
Dimitrij Ovtcharov (1) bt Tobias Hippler (5) 11-7, 11-8, 11-8, 11-8
Qiu Dang (4) bt Meng Fanbo (6) 11-4, 11-6, 11-4, 9-11, 8-11, 11-7
Omar Assar (3) bt Cédric Meissner (7) 11-5, 10-12, 11-6, 11-7, 11-2
Kanak Jha (2) bt Gerrit Engemann 14-12, 11-9, 8-11, 11-9, 8-11, 13-11

Wednesday 17th June: Semi-Finals
Dimitrij Ovtcharov (1) bt Qiu Dang (4) 7-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-8, 11-5
Omar Assar (3) bt Kanak Jha (2) 11-4, 9-11, 10-12, 11-4, 11-9, 11-8

Wednesday 17th June: Final
Dimitrij Ovtcharov (1) bt Omar Assar (3) 11-9, 11-7, 10-12, 8-11,11-8, 8-11, 11-6

Numbers in brackets indicate seeding; times are the earliest the match will be played

General News Dimitrij Ovtcharov Omar Assar Kanak Jha Qiu Dang