(by Steve Hopkins)
Montreax, Switzerland is host to the 2019 CCB Europe Top 16 Cup. This invitational brings the top 16 men and women in Europe together for a two-day tournament. Timo Boll, Mattias Falck, Dimitrij Ovtcharov, and Liam Pitchford were the top four seeds for the men, but only two escaped their opening match. Timo Boll advanced easily with a 4-0 win over Tiago Apolonia. He will face Kristian Karlsson in the quarterfinals (Karlsson defeated Emmanuel Lebesson 4-1 to advance). Dimitrij Ovtcharov appears to have recovered from his injury – defeating Kou Lei 4-0 to advance. Ovtcharov’s semifinal opponent will be Jonathan Groth who dispensed with Lionel Weber 4-0.
Unlike the top half of the draw where results were not unexpected, three of the four matches played in the bottom half of the draw were upsets. Second seed Mattias Falck fought to a 2-1 advantage, but couldn’t hold on against Panagiotis Gionis (losing 4-2). Fourth seeded Liam Pitchford never got started against Simon Gauzy – dropping all four games. And Daniel Habesohn fought back from a 3-2 deficit to upset Marcos Freitas. The only higher seed to hold his position was Vladimir Samsonov, who defeated Ovidiu Ionescu 4-1. In the quarterfinals, Gauzy will face Habesohn and Samsonov will face Gionis.
On the women’s side, Sofia Polcanova, Bernadetter Szocs, Elizabeta Samara and Li Jie entered the event as the seeds. Of the top seeds only Li Jie fell, losing to Natalia Partyka of Poland 4-3. The quarterfinals is now set with top seed Sofia Polcanova playing Nina Mittleham, second seed Bernadette Szocs playing Barbora Balazova, third seed Elizabeta Samara playing Petrissa Solja, and Natalia Partyka playing Georgina Pota.
The Euro 16 is now the Euro 8 with another round scheduled late today.
Check in throughout the event at ButterflyOnline for the latest news.