(by Steve Hopkins)
The European Table Tennis Union’s Pomegranate Europe Top 16 Cup concluded today. Neither Timo Boll nor Dimitrij Ovtcharov played (both are taking some time off from major tournaments after the Olympics), but that didn’t stop Germany from taking the top prize. Germany’s Patrick Franziska won the Men’s title, and Nina Mittleham dominated the Women’s event.
The Top 16 were Mattias Falck, Simon Gauzy, Darko Jorgic, Jonathan Groth, Kristian Karlsson, Robert Gardos, Patrick Franziska, Tomislav Pucar, Liam Pitchford, Daniel Habesohn, Ruwen Filus, Emmanuel Lebesson, Marcos Freitas, Andrej Gacina, Panagiotis Gionis, and Yang Wang.
Franziska, who won a Silver Medal in the Team event in Tokyo, topped Sweden’s Mattias Falck 4-2 in the Semifinal. He then topped Marcos Freitas in the Final 4-1. Falck and Pitchford were the top seeds, with Franzisca and Gauzy rounding out the top 4 seeds. Falck and Franzisca made it to the Final Four as expected, but in the other half of the draw both Freitas, and Lebesson were surprises. In the end, Franzisca took the prize – continuing a great 2021 and perhaps looking to rise in the World Rankings.
Nina Mittelham took the title with a 4-0 win over the Czech Republic’s Hana Matelova in the Semifinal and a 4-1 Final victory over Portugal’s Fu Yu.
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