2015 European Championships: Title Retained, Dimitrij Ovtcharov Wins in Ekaterinburg
Courtesy of ITTF
The winner two years ago in Schwechat, Austria; Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov retained his Men’s Singles title at the Liebherr 2015 ITTF-European Championships in the Russian city of Ekaterinburg on the evening of Sunday October 4th.
Occupying the top seeded position, at the final hurdle he accounted for Portugal’s Marcos Freitas in five games (14-12, 9-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-6) to secure the crown.
Success meant that the 27 year old German completed the tournament unbeaten; he had maintained an unblemished throughout the Men’s Team event earlier in the proceedings and had been the pivotal player in guiding his colleagues to the silver medal
Good Start Vital
Defeated but Marcos Freitas proved a most worthy opponent in a contest that witnessed a whole series of breath taking rallies. Dimitrij Ovtcharov was well aware that a good start to calm the nerves and establish his authority on proceedings was vital.
Notably at 10-9 ahead in the opening game he elected for “Time Out”. The decision did not have an immediate positive effect but the first game went his way, it was vital.
One game to nil in arrears Marcos Freitas levelled before losing a close third game; a good start in the fourth game calmed German nerves. Dimitrij Ovtcharov secured the game and in the fifth was in the ascendancy from the start.
Celebration time, Dimitrij Ovtcharov took off his German National Team shirt, raced to the medal podium and placed the garment on the top step of the podium.
“It was wonderful tournament, one of the best in which I have ever played; I want to express my gratitude to the organizers, to the sponsor and all the volunteers who made this tournament run smoothly”, said Dimitrij Ovtcharov. “Marcos pushed me to the limits, it brought the best out of me; the final was epic battle with the fantastic service, return, a powerful match, I am proud I was the part of it.”
Met a Decade Ago
Success for Dimitrij Ovtcharov and it was success yet again in opposition to Marcos Freitas; he has now won all six of their meetings on the international stage.
The first meeting was at the 2005 World Junior Championships in Linz when Dimitrij Ovtcharov had prevailed in the first round Boys’ Singles duel.
Later on the ITTF World Tour in 2011, he won in the final of the Men’s Singles event at the Brazil Open in Rio de Janeiro, before succeeding in the penultimate round clash between Germany and Portugal at the Liebherr 2012 World Team Championships in Dortmund.
Notably, earlier this year he emerged successful when they met in the final of the NN 2016 Europe Top 16 tournament in Baku, prior to repeating the success at the semi-final stage of the Men’s Singles event at the GAC Group 2015 ITTF World Tour Qatar Open.
Success for Dimitrij Ovtcharov means that Germany has now won the Men’s Singles title at the five most recent European Championships and in seven of the last eight.
Additional to Dimitrij Ovtcharov winning in Schwechat in 2013; Timo Boll won in Belgrade in 2007, the following year in St Petersburg.
Later in 2010 Timo Boll won again in 2010 in Ostrava after Denmark’s Michael Maze had succeeded one year earlier in Stuttgart. Timo Boll retained the crown in 2011 in Gdansk before again succeeding in Herning in 2012.
Furthermore, Dimitrij Ovtcharov becomes the third German to win the Men’s Singles title at a European Championships.
Additional to Timo Boll’s further success in 2002 in Zagreb, Jörg Rosskopf, the coach on duty in Ekaterinburg, succeeded in Stuttgart in 1992.
Visit ETTU.org and ITTF.com for results, videos and more information on the 2015 European Championships.