Adrien Mattenet Replaces Timo Boll in Gondomar
Courtesy of ITTF
Frenchman Adrien Mattenet is the last minute addition to the list of names in the Men’s Singles event at the forthcoming 2016 ITTF-Europe Top 16; he replaces Germany’s Timo Boll.
Play commences in Gondomar on Friday February 5th and concludes on Sunday February 6th.
The absence of a player of the quality in both terms of playing and in terms of character is a loss to any tournament; in the past two decades Timo Boll has graced the major venues of the world with the utmost dignity.
Just as the now German National Team coach, Jörg Rosskopf set the standard for Timo Boll’s generation; so he has set the standard for the next. The effect is that although Germany may not be the incumbent European champions, considering the medals secured at recent Olympic Games and World Team Championships, the results suggest they are the leading force in the old continent.
However, could there possibly be a more exciting replacement for Timo Boll than the tall Adrien Mattenet?
One fact is certain, he is good to watch; the quite staggering 91 stroke rally against Sweden’s Pär Gerell at last year’s GAC Group 2016 ITTF World Tour Czech Open in Olomouc illustrated that fact.
Pinned to the ropes, he returned attack after attack after attack from the Swede who, likewise will be on duty in Gondomar; he is the no.9 seed, as opposed to Adrien Mattenet who is the no.16 seed.
A step away from the table, Adrien Mattenet excels; the problem and a reason why he is not higher up the list is the distance is too often two or three steps back.
Nevertheless, there is no doubt, win or lose, he will be well worth watching but, of course, the players on whom most attention will be focus in Gondomar will be the trio that, since beating DPR Korea at then Austria at the Liebherr 2010 World Team Championships in Moscow, has taken Portugal to unprecedented heights.
Just as in the 1990’s Sweden was blessed with the trio of Jan-Ove Waldner, Jörgen Persson and Peter Karlsson. Currently it is the same principle for Portugal. Tiago Apolonia, Marcos Freitas and João Monteiro, all players of the very highest quality have arrived at the same time.
In Gondomar, Marcos Freitas is the no.2 seed, behind Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov, the top seed and defending champion; Tiago Apolonia is the no.8 seed, João Monteiro is the no.15 seed.
Following Pär Gerell is Simon Gauzy, like Adrien Mattenet from France; he is the no.10 seed. Russia’s Alexander Shibaev is the no.11 seed followed by Germany’s Ruwen Filus, Sweden’s Kristian Karlsson and German’s Bastian Steger.