Dimitrij Ovtcharov is The 2017 Top 16 European Champion!

Europe Top 16 Cup 2017: How it happened…

The 16 best male and female players headed to Antibes France on the 3rd of February for a weekend of intense battles and some exciting play. Players were placed into one of 4 groups, with the top 2 placed straight into the quarter finals.


Dimitrij Ovtcharov Europe Top 16 Champion in Antibes - Photo by: ITTF Flickr!

Group Stage:

Top seed Dimitrij Ovtcharov came through his group on top beating the eventual 3rd place Frenchman Simon Gauzy 3-2 in an exciting match. He also beat Monteiro of Portugal and Groth of Denmark.

Group 2 saw an upset when the #2 seed Vladimir Samsonov was beaten in all 3 group matches respectively which allowed Tiago Apolonia to go top and Kou Lei of Ukraine to follow second, leading to French homeboy Emmanuel Lebesson leaving the competition.

Group 3 saw the return of German legend Timo Boll. Boll won all 3 tough matches and progresses alongside Austrian player Stefan Fegerl.

In group 4 the seeded player Marcos Freitas of Portugal failed to progress and the lower ranked Andrej Gacina showed some fine form and came out top of the group, followed by Russian player Aleksander Shibaev. Swede Kristian Karlsson struggled and finished bottom.

Quarter finals:

The 8 players who had made it through the groups were then placed into a draw to compete for positions 1-8. Ovtcharov comfortably beat Fegerl 4-0. Kou Lei beat the inform Gacina 4-3. French player Simon Gauzy beat Timo Boll in a very exciting match 4-2. Finally, Shibaev beat Apolonia 4-3.

Defeated players were placed into matches to compete for positions 5-8. Meanwhile the undefeated players were going for positions 1-4.


The first semi-final between Dimitrij Ovtcharov and Kou Lei proved to seem like an easy win for Dima as he headed to a fast 3-0 lead. The Ukrainian player fought hard to come back to level the match 3-3. Dima had to use his skills and power to overcome the tricky Ukrainian player, eventually he won 11-6 in the 7th set.

The second semi-final was between Simon Gauzy and Aleksander Shibaev. A very close match was eventually won by big hitter Shibaev 4-2. Exciting points and a French crowd did not seem to bother the Russian player who progressed to the Final to face Ovtcharov. Gauzy and Shibaev had a bust up after the match because of tensions and dispute about a net point and the handshake after the match.

The incident can be seen here.

3rd Place match:

Simon Gauzy and Kou Lei met to play for the respective 3rd and 4th positions. Gauzy showed fine form and used his clever variation of shots to beat the Ukrainian 4-0. He celebrated in front of his home fans after the match.


The final match was between top seed Dimitrij Ovtcharov and Russian #14 seed Aleksander Shibaev. An exciting match was won by Ovtcharov 4-2 which led him to jump onto the table celebrating the victory in style.

The final positions are as follows:

1st Dimitrij Ovtcharov
2nd Aleksander Shibaev
3rd Simon Gauzy
4th Kou Lei
5th Timo Boll
6th Andrej Gacina
7th Tiago Apolonia
8th Stefan Fegerl

For all the latest news, results and videos from the 2017 Europe Top 16 click here. To watch all the latest matches highlighted by TTLondon2012 visit our Video Library.

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Written by: Tom Lewis