ITTF India Open: Dimtrij Ovtcharov ends 13-year-old Tomokazu Harimoto's dream run to win title

New Delhi: Top seed Dimtrij Ovtcharov used his years of experience to stop the juggernaut of 13-year-old Tomokazu Harimoto and win the ITTF World Tour India Open title at the Thyagaraj Sports Complex on Sunday.

The world number five sized up his Japanese opponent well, knowing that he won't be able to match the electric speed of teenage prodigy, who had taught a lesson to local favourite Sharath Kamal in the semi-finals on Saturday.

Dimitrij Ovtcharov of Germany (L) poses with the winning trophy along with runner-up Harimoto Tomokazu (R). AFP

Dimitrij Ovtcharov of Germany (L) poses with the winning trophy along with runner-up Harimoto Tomokazu (R). AFP

The German triumphed with an 11-6, 11-8, 11-4, 14-12 result. India proved to be a happy hunting ground, who returned here seven years after winning his first ITTF Pro Tour event (now called World Tour).

The men's singles finalists were waiting eagerly to enter the arena with the summit clash starting more than an hour after the scheduled time of 8.45 PM.

Ovtcharov's tactics became clear in the first game itself. He was taking an extra second to dish out his 'special serves' and his forehand drives had more spin than pace. Harimoto could not adjust to the slower tempo of the match and despite his undying spirit, went down fighting.

Earlier, Sakura Mori of Japan overcame Swedish rival Ekholm Matilda to win the women's singles title.

Rankings wise, there was very little to separate both the players with the Swede ranked 32 and the Japanese 35.

Matilda had come into the final high on confidence, having won the doubles final alongside Hungary's Georgina Pota earlier this evening.

She had also knocked the top seed out of the competition in the semifinals yesterday. In the final, her play lacked the intensity she showed against the top seed while Mori was screaming after winning point as if her life depended on it.

Mori could have finished the final earlier had she not played safe while leading 8-5 in the sixth game. Matilda pounced on the opening to stretch the contest to the seventh game.

However, it was all Mori in the decider as she took a 6-0 lead before completing a 7-11, 11-5, 11-8, 12-10, 6-11, 8-11, 11-6 victory.

It ended up a double delight for the Japanese, who had also won the U-21 title here.

Results (all finals):

Men's singles [1] Dimitrij Ovtcharov beat [14] Tomokazu Harimoto 11-6, 11-8, 11-4, 14-12.

Women's singles: [6] Sakura Mori (JPN) Beat [4] Matilda Ekholm (SWE) 7-11, 11-5, 11-8, 12-10, 6-11, 8-11, 11-6. Women's Doubles: [4]Matilda Ekholm (SWE)/[3] Georgina Pota (HUN) Beat [1] Hoi Kem Doo (HKG)/[2] Ho Ching Lee (HKG) - 9-11, 11-3, 5-11, 14-12, 11-8.

Men's Doubles: [9] Masataka Morizono (JPN)/[5] Yuya Oshima (JPN) Beat [10] Ruwen Filus (GER)/[12] Ricardo Walther (GER) 9-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-9.


Published Date: Feb 20, 2017 10:52 am | Updated Date: Feb 20, 2017 10:52 am


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