Top-seeded Boll wins Dusseldorf Masters

BERLIN (XINHUA) – Top seed Timo Boll unsurprisingly came out the winner of the Dusseldorf Masters on Tuesday, a new tournament series that started on Monday.

The 39-year-old overcame Steffen Mengel 12-10, 11-8, 10-12, 11-6 in Tuesday’s final, following his victories over Kirill Fadeev, Anton Kallberg and Kristian Karlsson. None of his contests extended into full games in the best-of-five format.

“I really had to work hard to bring the game home. I’m really very happy with the first competition in a long time,” Boll told the ITTF’s website.

The biggest surprise of the competition came in the quarterfinals, as Qiu Dang eliminated world number 11, Dimitrij Ovtcharov 11-5, 15-17, 11-7, 7-11, 11-9.

Organised by the Borussia Dusseldorf table tennis club along with the German Table Tennis Association, the tournaments are intended to offer players some intensive practice matches during the period of the pandemic.

“Of course it is not so easy for the players without spectators, but they have to get used to it in this tournament,” Germany’s head coach Jorg Rosskopf commented.

Boll leads the overall standings after racking up 50 points from the first edition, followed by Mengel with 30 points, and Semifinalists Qiu and Kristian Karlsson who both have 20 points.

The Dusseldorf Masters are scheduled to be staged each week until August. Matches will be played on Mondays and Tuesdays in June, but subject to change in July.

Timo Boll of Germany. PHOTO: XINHUA