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:
Final Ovtcharov – Kenta Matsudaira JPN 4:1 (-9,7,4,9,9)
Semi-final Dimitrij Ovtcharov – Quadri Aruna NGR 4:3 (6, -9,-8,-8,4,8,6)
Quarter final Dimitrij 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 16 Dimitrij Ovtcharov – Elias Ranefor SWE 4:2 (-8,-8,6,2,8,9)
First round Dimitrij Ovtcharov – Kirill Skachkov RUS 4:2 (7,4,-7,-9,13,1)