(by Steve Hopkins/Photo by ITTF)
They are through to the Semifinals of the CCB 2020 Europe Top 16 Cup in Montreaux, Switzerland. The Euro Top 16 matches up the best players in Europe (maximum of 2 players per country). This year, the top seeds were Mattias Falck, Dimitrij Ovtcharov, Timo Boll, and Simon Gauzy. At the half way point, Timo Boll is the only seeded player still standing.
Top seeded Mattias Falck had a solid showing against France’s Emmanuel Lebesson, but then fell to Robert Gardos. Gardos had begun the day by upsetting Jonathan Groth and finished Saturday with an upset of the tournament’s top seed. Tomorrow, he will be faced off against Boll – an opportunity to beat the highest seed remaining on his way to the Final.
The tournament’s second seed, Dimitrij Ovtcharov did not play. News was released that indicated he had a temperature and was forced to recover. He is also still recovering from injury and his deep run to the Semifinals a week ago at the German Open may not have left much recovery time. The beneficiary of the Walk Over was Tomislav Pucar. Pucar made the most of his opportunity by upsetting Marcos Freitas in the Quarterfinals.
Pucar will face Darko Jorgic. Jorgic upset Samsonov in the first round and then dominated Wang Yang in the Quarterfinals.
The Semifinals and Finals are scheduled for Sunday. Timo Boll has advanced to this point many times before, reaching the Semifinals eight times in past years. None of the other players still in contention have medaled in this event. Will this be Timo Boll’s seventh time winning the event, or will this be the first from one of the three underdogs?
The Women’s event has proceeded in stark contrast to the Men’s event. In fact, three of the top four seeds have advanced to the Semifinals with only Margaryta Pesotska of Ukraine advancing via upset. Pesotka will face Petrissa Solja in one Semifinal and Sofia Plcanova will face Britt Eerland in the other Semifinal.
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