(by Steve Hopkins)
A week ago, the Dusseldorf Masters event was absent big names and dominated by younger players. This Sunday was the fourth event (of seven) and it included Ovtcharov, Qiu, and Assar – but the younger players still grabbed many of the headlines.
Egypt’s Omar Assar won today. He played all three of the rising German stars and navigated through them easily – beating Kay Stumper in the Semifinals and Cedric Meissner in the final (both at 3-1).
Of the top four seeds (Ovtcharov, Qiu, Assar, Jha), two fell in the Quarterfinals. Cedric Meissner blanked Kanak Jha 3-0, and Kay Stumper ousted Ovtcharolv 3-2. Qiu and Assar both advanced – but Qiu fell in the Semis to Cedric Meissner 3-1. That left Assar as the only seeded player in the Final.
We are now over half way through the Masters Events, and three of the points leaders are young German players. The world may have largely taken 2020 off in regard to opportunities for rising stars, but these kids have made the most of their isolation and have come out swinging. Once the Olympics is done and the ITTF schedule begins again, the world can expect an introduction to Meissner, Oehme, and Stumper.
Current Point Totals: Meissner 100, Assar 80, Stumper 70, Oehme 65, Ovtcharov 55, Kallberg 50, Duda 30, Qiu 30.
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