DONIC is table supplier of the German Open 2017

 

Waiting for China and Japan

 

It’s the last highlight of this table tennis year and after the WTTC in Düsseldorf the second highlight in 2017 on German ground: The German Open which will be held in the GETEC-Arena Magdeburg/Germany from 7th – 12th November 2017 were like a little World Championship considering the top players during the recent years.

 

Only five tournaments in the frame of the World Tour are categorized as platinum events and two of them in Europe: The Austrian Open and the German Open. Both events have in common that guarantee highest level concerning prize money, organization and playing conditions: 210.000 US Dollars prize money, an outstanding organization and perfect playing conditions shall be responsible that the top stars will be present in Magdeburg. For this purpose, they will be playing on DONIC Delhi 25 tables as already at the Austrian Open in Linz.

 

Official deadline for registration was on 8th October and it is clear that DONIC stars like Dimitrij Ovtcharov, Patrick Baum and Li Ping (Qatar) will be present. Players from South Korea, Taiwan, Sweden and various other nations have also registered and in these cases the absolute top players will take part. Lee Sang Su and Jeoung Young Sik from Korea, Chuang Chi-Yuan and Chen Chien-An from Taiwan, Kristian Karlsson, Pär Gerell and Anton Källberg from Sweden – the list is very long and has got some imposing names on it, but it will be even more impressive because it is not yet clear which players from Japan and China will come to Magdeburg. However, it is without question that also these two top nations will send top players and already now the fans can be looking forward to the event: The German Open will be the highlight of the table tennis year and DONIC asks to come to the table.

 

 

 

 

Top performances for 10 years already – thanks to DONIC

 

What? The Austrian Open 2017

When? From 9th to 13th November

Where? In Linz/Austria!

 

Traditionally there are a lot of top players at the Austrian Open, one of the most popular tournaments in the frame of the World Tour. As usually there are also stars from China, the list of prominent winners is long and full of illustrious names, among them Chen Qi, Timo Boll and Ma Long.

 

Such a big tournament, however, is also a logistic challenge. With probably 50 participating nations and about 340 starters, the Austrian Open 2017 will be one of the biggest international Championships worldwide. About 820 matches will be hold at the 5 days of the tournament, where they play about 70.000 points. At least 14 international TV stations will report about this event open, among them also the Chinese national broadcasting company CCTV, which broadcasts the finals live.

All that represents highest requirements – not only to the athletes and organizers but also to the equipment. Behind the success of the Austrian Open which will be hold for the 49th time there is also a German name: DONIC. For ten years now, the German traditional company has been the equipment supplier of the Austrian Open and thus has offered first-class playing conditions. The stars honor these efforts and focus on best quality and perfect conditions. And in 2017 they can rely on that again, when from 9th to 13th November the new title holder will be determined. 26 Delhi 25 tables as well as two especially designed Show Court tables for the Austrian Open are the ideal conditions for world-class table tennis. 51 arbitrators from 18 countries work with DONIC scorers and at DONIC umpire tables.

In a fast-moving modern world where partnerships in sports rarely last long, ten years mean an eternity. Relationships that last that long aren’t only based on initial enthusiasm, but also on reliability, on confidence in the partner, on the awareness of his skills and a good feeling.

Welcome to DONIC.

The living legends

Legends among themselves: At the next event in the frame of the ITTF legends tour, former and current heroes meet on 28th April in the French Metz. Jiang Jialiang, world champion in single competition from 1985 and ’87 as well as head of the legendary Chinese team which had only been dethroned by the Swedes at the World Championships 1989 in Dortmund, will meet among others also their companions Jörgen Persson and Jörg Roßkopf again. DONIC star Persson who won with Sweden his first gold medal at the World Championships 1989, became not only world champion in team competition, but also in single competition; Roßkopf, 1989 world champion in double competition with Steffen Fetzner, won the gold medal in single competition at the European Championships 1992. His opponent in the final at that time, Jean-Michel Saive became later number one of the world ranking list –the Belgium player will be present in Metz, too. Finally, the field will be completed by the long-time French national players Christophe Legout and Panagiotis Gionis. The Greek, still one of the best defensive players world-wide used to play in the French first league club in Metz and therefore got a wild card for this event.

For years DONIC has already supported the legends tour and that’s perfect. Not only because the stars guarantee optimum playing conditions, but also as DONIC has been the equipment supplier for some of the table tennis legends during their whole career. For example, the Swede Jan-Ove Waldner, Mikael Appelgren and Jörgen Persson. Also, Europe’s current number one, Dimitrij Ovtcharov, has trusted in the German traditional brand since his childhood. Maybe one day we might see him on a Legends Tour, too.

DONIC makes legends.

Only the best is good enough

There are only six months left, then the Luxembourg Table Tennis Federation (FLTT) will experience that event which they have feverishly aimed at for months. The continental highlight of the year, the European Team Championships will take place in Luxembourg for the first time. “It’s an honour for such a small association to organize the biggest and most prestigious table tennis competition in Europe”, says FLTT president André Hartmann. For his association as well as for the European Table Tennis Union (ETTU) the best is only good enough: They play with Nittaku Premium 40+ balls and on DONIC Delhi 25 tables. For many years already the traditional company from the Saarland/Germany stands for superior quality. Numerous World and European Championships have already been hold on DONIC Delhi 25 tables.

At the European Team Championships which take place from 13 to 17 September in the “Coque” arena, they play on 16 tables. Three of these 16 tables are show court tables. One of these three tables is the TV court and reserved for live broadcasting on TV. Various TV channels (among others Eurosport and RTL) broadcast the competitions; and on the internet the event will be broadcasted via livestream during the whole five days.

In Luxembourg, they eagerly await the event: More than 6 months before the opening of the event, 200 volunteers had already registered. “For me the high number of volunteers is of course an absolutely positive signal, “says André Hartmann. “Luxembourg is prepared.”

And DONIC asks to the table.



New DONIC storage building. Finalized by end of november 2016 !

 

 

DONIC contract player Abdel-Kader Salifou ( France)

Welcome in our DONIC Team


French Champion Men Doubles 2016
French runners up Men Singles 2013
Bronze medal EC team 2011
several times French youth champion

 

Saarbrücken: The table tennis players in Germany can’t wait for the arrival of the extraterrestrial. At the LIEBHERR Men’s World Cup in Saarbrücken from 1st to 3rd October 19 world stars – among them the European Champion Dimitrij Ovtcharov – chase the man who the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (F.A.Z.) named a human extraterrestrial of his craft. The talk is of the brand new Olympic Champion Ma Long whose gold medal in Rio de Janeiro also assured the Chinese winning the Golden Grand Slam – winning the World Championships, World Cup and Olympic Games in a row.

Dimitrij Ovtcharov is looking forward to the World Cup

The year before at the semi-final of the Men’s World Cup also Dimitrij Ovtcharov had to accept Ma Long’s superiority and this year he is looking forward to Saarbrücken because of several reasons: “The Saarland is a very special place for me. My main sponsor DONIC who supports me since my early childhood already, is located there. Therefore, I hope that the support in Saarbrücken might even be a bit bigger than somewhere else in Germany.”

The European Champion can certainly count on the support of the fans. In 2016 the tournament is hold in Saarbrücken for the first time. 20 out of the best male players in the table tennis world – maximum two per nation – play in the Saarlandhalle against each other in order to gain the most important title after Olympics and the gold medal at World Championships in singles competition. The Olympic bronze medal winner of London 2012 in singles competition and with the team, Dimitrij Ovtcharov is looking forward to the tournament: “The World Cup is one of the by far most important tournaments in the world. I am looking very much forward to the event. I expect to achieve a good result. With the spectators behind me a place on the podium is my big aim.”

 

Top performances for ten years – thanks to DONIC

What? Austrian Open 2016

When? From 9th to 13th November

Where? In Linz!

The Austrian Open, one of the most popular tournaments in the frame of the World Tour, are traditionally hold with a lot of top players. Also the stars from China come there regularly, the list of prominent winners is long and filled with illustrious names, among them Chen Qi, Timo Boll and Ma Long.

Such a big tournament, however, is also a logistic challenge. With presumably 50 nations and about 340 players taking part in this tournament, the Austrian Open 2016 will be one of the biggest international Championships world-wide. About 820 matches will take place during 5 days and about 70.000 points can be achieved in total. At least 14 international TV channels will broadcast this Event Open, among them also the Chinese national broadcaster CCTV that broadcasts the final matches live.

All this makes high demands – not only on the athletes and organizers, but also on the equipment. Behind the success of the Austrian Open, which are already hold for the 49th time, stands also a German name: DONIC. For ten years now the German traditional company has been the equipment supplier of the Austrian Open and guarantees first-class playing conditions. The stars honor these conditions, as they attach great importance to the best quality in terms of material and perfect basic conditions. Thus they can rely on all these things in 2016 again, when from 9th to 13th November in Linz the new title holder will be determined. 26 DONIC Delhi 25 tables as well as two Showcourt tables especially designed for the Austrian Open are the preconditions for world-class table tennis. 51 referees from 18 countries will work with DONIC scorers and DONIC referee tables.

In a fast-moving time where partnerships in sports rarely last that long, ten years mean a small eternity. Relationships that last such a long time aren’t only based on initial enthusiasm but also on reliability, confidence in the partner and the awareness of quality and a good feeling. Welcome to DONIC.


During a short courtesy visit by ETTU President Ronald KRAMER and Secretary General Richard SCRUTON to DONIC headquarters in Völklingen, DONIC CEO Frank SCHREINER signed the official agreement confirming his company will supply the Nittaku Premium 40+ ball as the European Championships official ball for 2016 to 2019. During the visit there was an frank and open exchange of views on the present and future situation of table tennis in Europe and in the world, followed by a short tour of the building. President KRAMER stated: "This visit to DONIC is part of our conviction that we must communicate and discuss with all stakeholders involved our sport. We need each others' expertise and experience for the development of table tennis. Of course our suppliers' and other commercial partners' opinions are of great value for the future of our sport."


DONIC invites to the table

For table tennis fans it’s the highlight of the year 2016 on German ground and the scene of competition is Saarbrücken, Germany. From 1st to 3rd October the Men’s World Cup takes place in the Saarlandhalle – it’s the third time that it takes place in Germany at all (after Magdeburg 2007 and Düsseldorf 2014) and for the first time in the Saarland.

For DONIC star Dimitrij Ovtcharov who became third at the World Cup in Halmstad (Sweden) in October this year, the prestigious tournament in next year will be a home game for him. The European Champion won’t only have the German fans that support him, but also perfect playing conditions as usual, as tables and nets are again supplied by the traditional German company DONIC which has been Dima’s equipment supplier since he has been a child already. The company is based in Völklingen which is very close to Saarbrücken and it can be very happy to welcome the best players in the world almost outside of her own front door.

150.000 dollars price money, 45.000 of them for the winner, the big stars from Asia and Europe, but also from Africa, America and Oceania, a tightly arranged tournament format – they play from Saturday to Monday (Monday is a public holiday in Germany) – on only two tables: The World Cup offers again best conditions for both fans and players. Additionally the number of spectators in the Saarland is quite high”, says Michael Geiger, president of the German Table Tennis Association. This has also been one of the reasons why the event was awarded to Saarbrücken. Klaus Bouillon, Minister of the interior of the Saarland, has committed himself personally for Saarbrücken as the scene for this World Cup. And fans from the close-by regions such as Rhineland-Palatinate, Luxembourg and France, but also from the whole world will probably care that tickets for the Saarlandhalle will be sold out soon.

Bouillon points out that without DONIC’s engagement it wouldn’t have been possible to get the World Cup 2016 to Saarbrücken. “I’m also very pleased that with Jörgen Persson, the former player of the ATSV Saarbrücken, we have found an outstanding representative for Saarbrücken (several times World- and European Champion)”, says Bouillon. This is where it comes full circle: The DONIC star Persson hasn’t only a personal connection to Saarbrücken, where he used to play in the Bundesliga, but also one to Dima Ovtcharov whose coach he is today.

Next year it will be the 37th time that this traditional tournament, which has highest importance in the world of table tennis after the Olympic Games and the World Championships, is hold. Even for China’s stars it isn’t easy to qualify for the World Cup as there are only two participants allowed per nation. Whoever is able to qualify won’t miss the opportunity to come to Saarbrücken in the Olympic year 2016. And DONIC invites to the table.

The final would be a dream
Only the best players may start at the World Cup – and maximum two per nation. At the event which will take place from 20 to 22nd October in Liège/Belgium the German hopes are especially resting on the no. 2 of the seating list Dimitrij Ovtcharov. Dima became already twice third (2013 and 2015) at the prestigious event and has still good memories to the last World Cup in Belgium:” In 2013 I finally lost the semi-final against Xu Xin in a tough match while being ahead 3:2 in sets and 6:4 in the sixth being very near to the victory. In the end I took the bronze medal winning the play-off for third place against Timo Boll. I hope that in Liège I can be similarly successful or even better.”

This time Ovtcharov cannot meet Xu XI. The two qualified Chinese are Ma Long and Lin Gaoyuan. Timo Boll will also participate in Liège beside other strong competitors. Ovtcharov emphasizes: There are many very good players there. The final would be a dream. But one thing is certain: Ma Long is the clear favorite.”

At least the DONIC star feels fit and in good form. And in Liège he can rely on the table equipment. The Men’s World Cup is played on DONIC World Champion TC tables – only the best for the best.

 

 

Dima justified his role as the favourite

 

 

DONIC star Dimitrij Ovtcharov met his expectations at the Bulgaria Open. He justified his role as the favorite at this World Tour tournament with a prize money of 130.000 dollars. With the Russian Kirill Skachkov, one for the first round extremely strong opponent, the Swede Elias Ranefor, the Japanese Mizuki Oikawa who started for Königshofen in the TTBL, Nigeria’s star Quadri Arena and finally number 15 of the world ranking list Kenta Matsudaira, Ovtcharov won over all of them in Panagyurishte. In the semi-final against the African idol Arena Dima had to make up for being 1:3 behind. The fourth set he had only lost very unluckily. Three lucky balls in series of his opponent put him off his stride when he was leading 5:1 in the fourth round. Once more he proved that he can keep a clear head: “Afterwards I recalled my best table tennis and the three rounds afterwards I played very strongly”, he explained.

 

 

Also in round two against Elias Ranefor DONIC star Dima had to fight. In the first two sets he had serious return problems – ironically with the serve of the Swede whereof Ovtcharov had said before: ”He copies a bit my backhand serve.” Finally, however, even being 0:2 behind the fourth of the world ranking clearly won.

 

 

Very satisfied he presented himself after the final. “That was by far my best match of the tournament”, Ovtcharov said after his success over the Japanese Kenta Matsudaira. “This title gives me self-confidence for the next tasks. “And there will be a lot to do for the 28-year old: In September the European Team Championships in Luxembourg, in October the World Cup in Liège/Belgium and in December the World Tour Grand Finals in Astana/Kazachstan. With his success in Bulgaria, his third tournament victory at the World Tour in 2017, DONIC star Dima has already set an exclamation mark.

 

 

 

Ovtcharov‘s successes at the Bulgaria Open:

 

 

FinalOvtcharov – Kenta Matsudaira JPN 4:1 (-9,7,4,9,9)

 

Semi-finalDimitrij Ovtcharov – Quadri Aruna NGR 4:3 (6, -9,-8,-8,4,8,6)

 

Quarter finalDimitrij Ovtcharov – Mizuki Oikawa JPN 4:0 (6,0,0,0*)

 

*Oikawa gave up after the first set due to an injury.

 

Round of the best 16Dimitrij Ovtcharov – Elias Ranefor SWE 4:2 (-8,-8,6,2,8,9)

 

First roundDimitrij Ovtcharov – Kirill Skachkov RUS 4:2 (7,4,-7,-9,13,1)

 

Due to a 3:0 success in the final against Dimitrij Ovtcharov, Timo Boll won the NEW HORIZONS Masters 2017 in the Joachim Deckarm Halle in Saarbrücken/Germany where a lot of top class players had taken place.

Before Timo Boll had won the semi-final with 3:0 against Simon Gauzy (France) and Dimitrij Ovtcharov won with 3:1 against his national team mate Patrick Baum.



Thus, you gain self-confidence!

Dimitrij Ovtcharov has made it: With a 4:2 success in the final over Alexander Shibaev (Russia) the DONIC star won the Europe Top 16 – the third time in a row. The traditional Europe Top 12 has been hold 42 times from 1971 to 2012 and no other player has ever won it three times in a row. Ovtcharov won the last Top 12 in 2012 and now made the hat-trick at the follow-up event Europe Top 16.

“Very challenging” had that tournament been for him, especially as he wasn’t in top form at this event and until the end he had to fight with a hard cough. As number 6 of the world-ranking list, DONIC star Dima had started as the favorite, although the victory wasn’t naturally for him. “It seems that it’s possible to win against anybody there”, he explained. In theory that’s true, but in reality, it is different: Nearly nobody wins against a Dimitrij Ovtcharov. When pointing that out, the 28-year old replied grinning: “I’m just tough.”

He impressively proved that in Antibes. In the group matches he had to fight hard to win against Joao Monteiro (3:1), Simon Gauzy (3:2, after 0:2 behind) und Jonathan Groth (3:2). Afterwards there were gala performances against Stefan Fegerl (4:0) in the quarter final and Kou Lei (4:3) in the semi-final before there was the highly competitive match against Alexander Shibaev in the final. With his performance, Ovtcharov was also satisfied in the final, but not with his yield. “I’ve played very well, but actually I should have won 6:0”, he explained in view of the chances he had given away in the lost sets. Also in the sixth round, he attracted attention: After leading 10:3 Ovtcharov lost 5 points in series and with 8:10 Shibaev served again. “But the favorite kept a clear head. “He calmed down again”, said the sports director of the German Table Tennis Association, Richard Prause and added: “Dima is the number one in Europe, and made an exclamation mark here.”

After the Olympic Games, his best player needed a bit of time. We have to allow him this time”, says Prause. DONIC star Dima confirmed: “I’ve won six tournaments in a row in Europe and then looked for new goals.” Among them were thoughts how to organize his game. “I’ve tried to change my game for a long time and worked on my weaknesses”, explained Ovtcharov. For him, who takes over the table as many balls as possible with his backhand, this means to integrate a forehand flip in his game. However, these aren’t his own expectations anymore. Meanwhile, he has realized, he said: “I’m quite good just like I am. If I don’t make a lot of small mistakes and do my top spin game from both sides, it’s difficult to win against me.” That’s the motto he followed in Antibes and that’s his strategy for the future. “I want to concentrate on what I know best – and present that to the opponent.”

How that looks like when it works could be seen at Europe’s top 16. In an impressive manner, Europe’s number one dominated the continental competitors.

After winning the tournament they asked him what would be his most important aim in view of the individual World Championships which takes place in Düsseldorf. His answer:” Mental strength is the most important. Mental stability is my first aim.”

Considering his victory at the Europe Top 16, Dima Ovtcharov has already made an important step.

Martin Friis
No 2 Sweden Cadets


Ovtcharov: I want to reach the podium!


There are only a few days left before the beginning of the World Cup which takes place in the Saarlandhalle in Saarbrücken, Germany from 1st to 3rd October. Only a bit more than 6 weeks after the Olympics and two weeks before the start of the European Championships, the World Cup takes place at a time where a lot of stars are rather longing for a break. Just like the Olympic Winner Ma Long and the Japanese Jun Mizutani, the winner of the bronze medal in Rio: Both cancelled their start at the World Cup. The insatiable Dimitrij Ovtcharov, however, is very keen to continue the success story which he started to write in 2013 and 2015 with third places each at this traditional tournament.

It is curious but the task won’t be much easier for DONIC star Dima after Mizutani has cancelled. As the replacement for the Japanese seems to be even stronger. Fan Zhendong, number two in the world, who emphasized his claim to take over the power very soon when winning in the final of the China Open against Ma Long with 4:0 some days ago. Furthermore, with the third of the world ranking, Xu Xin, another Chinese super star starts so that for Ovtcharov any step to the podium this time would be a success. Finally there will also be plays about position three.

Before the event in Saarbrücken, Germany, where the German traditional brand DONIC is among other things the table and net supplier, we asked the European Champion for an interview.

In the recent years the World Cup was a good tournament for you. What’s your aim this time? After 2013 and 2015, do you want to reach the podium this time again?

That’s true I’ve already had good results at the World Cup. In 2013 third place, there I was leading 3:2 in the semi-final and in the sixth set 6:4 against Xu Xin. At that time, I really had the chance to win. In the final, I would have played against Vladi who I had won against 4:0 in the EC final two weeks before.

2015 was also a brilliant tournament, with the bronze medal after winning over Jun Mizutani in the match for the third place. But I don’t worry about this tournament now, whatever will be, will be. I’ll enjoy playing and do my best. However, my aim is to reach the podium, of course!

After the Olympics a lot of athletes fall into a hole – especially, if they were successful there. How about you?

Can you keep the tension, above all as your daughter was born and thus other things in your live got into your focus at the moment?

Of course, the main focus is on the Olympics and therefore other absolute top tournaments like the World Cup and the EC fall a bit behind. I can tell from myself, as I made this experience as ell the years before. Afterwards you regret it! And if afterwards no bigger tournaments are to come – I mean continental tournaments – then you get angry about it. Therefore, I try to keep the tension as high as possible and do my best, at the World Cup and the EC, which will be two weeks later. Those are the biggest tournaments after the Olympics and the WTTC which we have in our sport. The have deserved it that the athletes do their best and go to the limit. I think everybody will do it like this, unless they fall into a hole.

How was your training program since Rio? Presumably you had a short break? What about your shape?

I had a break for ten days. Afterwards I slowly started to practice again: about only once a day for another 10 days. And meanwhile I have a 2:1-2:1 program. I would like to have a fresh start into the tournaments. For the next two and a half months there will be a huge tournament period now in October, November and December: World Cup, EC, World Tour Grand Finals, Swedish Open, Champions League, Russian League and so on. I did a lot of practicing in summer. The feeling is good and if the fitness and the body are okay, too, what I assume, then I look optimistic into this period.

Due to the cancellation of Mizutani, Fan Zhendong came nearer. Now there will be two Chinese and not only Xu Xin. That makes it more difficult – doesn’t it? And what do you think about Fan Zendong at the moment?

Maybe it’s now a bit more difficult to get higher on the podium due to the cancellation of Jun - because the Chinese have a higher level. But in the end I don’t care. I try to concentrate on myself. When I play good table tennis, then I can reach the podium.

I always think Fan Zhendong is very strong. He is number two in the world and clearly plays the best results after Ma Long. If Ma Long wouldn’t exist, he clearly would be the number one. Recently when winning the China Open, you could notice that he’s very ambitious.


All good things come in fives

At the end, they hugged each other and shouted with joy, it seemed like they would have won a gold medal. Although this time it was only a bronze medal which the German national team brought from the Olympics in Rio. After a changeful tournament, some disappointments in singles competition and a defeat in the semi-final against Japan in team competition, some people were even afraid that the German table tennis selection could go home without any medal.

However, the ones who were afraid didn’t consider DONIC star Dimitrij Ovtcharov. The 27-year old European Champion remained unbeaten in the whole team competition.

At the opening of the round of the best sixteen, Dima achieved a 3:1 (9,-7,7,7) against Chuang Chih-Yuan, the seventh of the world-ranking list from Taiwan. In the quarter final a 3:0 (7,10,8) against Austria’s best player, Stefan Fegerl, at least number 20 in the world. In the semi-final Dima very clearly won over the Japanese Maharu Yoshimura with 3:0 (8,3,3) which was one place after Fegerl and finally he won over Joo Se Hyuk the best defensive player in the world in the match about the bronze medal with 3:2 (5,9,-8,-2,6). During two sets the DONIC star Dima was superior over the South Korean plyer, but then he became better and better. “That’s where Joo is known for”, explained Ovtcharov, “he always gets enormously better during the match. I’ve caught a super start, but then he became stronger and stronger. I even was a bit exhausted in the fourth set, he admitted, but I was able to pull myself together again. Fortunately: as this was very important for our team.”

Absolutely. The European Champion opened the door to the victory for the German team and with the 3:1 success over South Korea there finally was a happy end.

For Dimitrij Ovtcharov this was the fourth medal at the Olympic Games, 2008 in Beijing he had won silver with the team, 2012 in London the bronze medal in singles competition and with the team. No other European table tennis player had ever won four Olympic medals by now. In this point DONIC star Dima is even ahead of super star Jan-Ove Waldner. The genius Swede was like Ovtcharov a DONIC partner through his whole career, won the gold medal in Barcelona in 1992 and 2000 the silver medal in the singles in Sydney.

The ones who know how ambitious Ovtcharov is, they also know that he won’t be satisfied with that. With Tokyo 2020 in mind, he would surely say: “All good things come in fives.”

 


Our long life partner and player Jörgen Persson´s celebrating
his 50th birthday today ! Best Wishes from DONIC and team !
Congrats World Champion !

Dima’s show of force

He arrived as title holder and left as title winner again. At the Europe Top 16 in the Portuguese Gondomar DONIC star Dimitrij Ovtcharov impressively underlined that he is in a class of his own. In the final he clearly won over the local hero Joao Monteiro with 4:2 (6,5,8,-8,-11,7) and thus had revenge against the only defeat he had during the whole tournament. In the group Monteiro had surprisingly won over Ovtcharov with 3:2.

But one after the other. In the qualification group DONIC star Dima had a brilliant start: He impressively dominated over the strong young French player Simon Gauzy with 3:0 (8,4,12) and afterwards he impressively demonstrated Panagiotis Gionis how to play against defensive players. The Greek defender could not keep up against the powerful topspin balls of the European Champion; in the end it was 3:0 (6,4,7) for Ovtcharov.

In the last game of the group, however, he made some slight mistakes and Monteiro who was supported by the spectators surprisingly won with 3:2 (7,8,-9,-9,9). What made the difference in the end, so that Ovtcharov was superior over the same opponent in the final?

“You cannot compare a group match with a final”, explained Dima. “However, I have to say that Joao surprised me. He played at very high level and extremely aggressive.”

Finally, this even helped Ovtcharov. “I was, of course, warned”, he explained, “I analyzed our group match in detail and thus was able to prepare for the final. And I think: That was my best match at this tournament.

In fact: The 4:0 (6,7,9,2) against Monteiro’s compatriot Tiago Apolonia was brilliant, but when it was 4:3 (-12, 9, 5, -9, -2, 8,8) against the Swede Kristian Karlsson it was going to get difficult for the favorite who was behind with 2:3 in sets and 3:6 in the sixth round.

But then the final: During three sets, DONIC star Dima was very superior so that Monteiro didn’t even have a slight chance.

Ovtcharov played very confidently. In the fourth round, however, the Portuguese could win some rallies and shortened the game to 1:3. “In the fifth set I had some match ball which I couldn’t take advantage of”, explained Ovtcharov. Other players would get nervous in such a situation, but not DONIC star Dima. However, he didn’t get nervous. “I’ve always believed in myself”, the opponent said – and that could also be seen in the game.

“During the last three years, this is the fifth of six possible titles at the most important tournaments in Europe”, announced Ovtcharov proudly. Consequently, he would be very confident at such tournaments.

Winner of the European Games in Baku 2015, European Champion 2013 and 2015, Europe Top 16 winner 2015 and 2016 – Dimitrij Ovtcharov is impressively superior on the old continent. Thus the usually very self-critical 27-year old left this tournament totally satisfied this time. In view of his balance, he explained: I think the results speak for themselves. At all three days I played very well here in Portugal and won a top-class final. “


Third place for Dima Ovtcharov

Third place among top-class players, 15.000 dollars price money and precious world-ranking points – Dimitrij Ovtcharov’s balance at the World Cup is quite impressive. Winning over Gao Ning (Singapore), Koki Niwa (Japan) and finally against Jun Mizutani in the matach for the third place, DONIC star Dima confirmed his brilliant shape of the recent weeks in the Swedish Halmstad. That he had also showed when winning the European Championships in Jekaterinburg. In the semi-final against World Champion Ma Long, however, Ovtcharov wasn’t able to win: Also in the 12th match against the first of the world ranking he had to accept the superiority of the Chinese. Ma, however, had presented himself in very good shape this time. Ma Long didn’t only win against Dimitrij Ovtcharov with 4:0, also the Portuguese Marcos Freitas (in the quarter final) and Ma Longe’s compatriot Fan Zhendong couldn’t even come close to winning one set. “Ma Long is an unbelievable complete player and you are not allowed to be weak for one second when playing against him”, explained Ovtcharov after his defeat, “he had shown it against Marcos Freitas yesterday, too.” But the DONIC star won’t be discouraged and announced: ”Next time I’ll fight again.” Ma Long was even indirectly praised by Ovtcharov after the match: “I think I’ve played extremely well against a very strong opponent today”, he commented his success.

Nevertheless place 3 is the best place Dima has ever reached at a World Cup. The first time he had reached the third place was 2013 in Verviers. And after his strong performances against Gao Ning and Koki Niwa, the 4:2 success over Mizutani was a crowning end for Ovtcharov. Important with view of the world ranking position of the two, the seeding at the Olympic Games in Rio, important for the self-confidence and finally a confirmation for the hard work which has brought Dimitrij Ovtcharov that far ahead. With the good result in Halmstad he could even be able to be ranked number four in the next world ranking list. Dima currently is ranked number five in the world, but is only narrowly after the Olympic Champion Zhong Jike who wasn’t qualified for this World Cup. The World Cup in Halmstad which is besides the Olympic Games and World Championships the most important tournament in the world of table tennis, was a big success. Absolutely high-class sport, perfect playing conditions, on the tables of the equipment supplier DONIC and one step ahead for DONIC star Dimitrij Ovtcharov.

Ovtcharov’s results at the World Cup in Halmstad

Round of the best sixteen
Dimitrij Ovtcharov – Gao Ning  4:0 (4,7,7,6)

Quarter final
Dimitrij Ovtcharov – Koki Niwa  4:1 (-10,6,3,8,5)

Semi-final
Dimitrij Ovtcharov – Ma Long  0:4 (-4,-2,-7,-4)

Match for third place
Dimitrij Ovtcharov – Jun Mizutani  4:2 (9,-9,9,-7,9,9)