(by Steve Hopkins)
Saturday morning, Dimitrij Ovtcharov topped Simon Gauzy 3-1 in the Quarterfinals before defeating Anton Kallberg 4-2 in the Semifinals. As the second seed, Dima’s run was not unexpected. The unexpected story of the event is the rise of the other Finalist, Dan Qiu also capped off an impressive run winning twice on Saturday (over Ryoichi Yochiyama and Kang Dongsoo) on his way to the Final.
Qiu has long been an overlooked player in German, where Boll and Ovtcharov and Franziska are all bigger names. But, now age 25, Dang Qiu finished fifth in the German leagues for individual points won, and one of the key pieces to Borussia Dusseldorf’s winning that league – scoring a higher winning percentage than teammate Timo Boll. Qiu has also had a number of solid performances in major events over the last year. On Sunday, Qiu will get to test his skills against Germany’s highest ranked player. The Qiu/ Ovtcharov match is set to start at 5pm (5pm Zagreb time, 11am Eastern Time).
In Women’s Singles, Top Seeded Adriana Diaz fell to Miyu Nagasaki in the Quarterfinals. Nagasaki won her next match and has moved into the Finals. She will face Second Seeded Nina Mittelham. Mittelham defeated Takahashi in the Semis. USA’s Lily Zhang had a deep run in this event, but fell to Takahashi in the Quarters.
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