by Steve Hopkins)
Despite a draw that required Timo Boll to tackle German teammate Benedikt Duda early (winning 4-3 in the Round of 16), and Dusseldorf teammate Anton Kallberg in the quarterfinals, and top seed Mattias Falck in the semifinals, it was Boll that cruised most of the way. When Boll faced Dimitrij Ovtcharov in the Final, it was all Boll – with tight games but a 4-1 dominant performance. Boll first, Ovtcharov second – a combination that bodes well for Germany in Tokyo. And for Boll, individually – his eighth European Championship in Men’s Singles.
Germany also fared well in the Women’s Singles event where Xiona Shan won her Semifinal over Pesotska 4-0 and Petrissa Solja won her Semifinal over Samara 4-2 to create another all-German singles Final. It was Solja dominating the Final with a 4-1 win.
Men’s Doubles provided some early surprises, as two German pairs are listed in the ITTF Top 10, but neither pair made it to the Semifinals. In fact, it is a Russian pair of Katsman and Grebnev that has made it to the Final by plowing through the first seeded Germany team and the fourth seeded Hungarian team. Once there, Katsman and Grebnev made the most of the opportunity by topping th mixed pair of Jakub Dyjas (Poland) and Cedric Nuytinck (Belgium) 3-1.
Women’s doubles was another all-German affair with the two German teams (neither in the ITTF’s Top 30 ranked teams) facing off. Those teams were Mittelham/Winter and Solja/Shan, and it was Solja and Shan that took the title 3-2..
Mixed Doubles had already concluded. The top seed, Slovakia’s Lubomir Pistej and Barbora Balazova advanced to the final. They faced a surprise German team of Dang Qiu and Nina Mittelham who upset both the No. 2 and No. 3 seeded teams along the way. In fact it was Qiu and Mittelham who took the Final, dominating the top seeds 3-0.
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