Michael Maze is back. After 16 months of painful recovery from a total of two hip surgeries, the Dane was once again present on an international event, furthermore, he played well. In the DHS Europe Cup in Lausanne, he beat Panagiotis Gionis 4-1 thereby advancing to the semi-Finals, where he met the Olympic bronze medallist and European Champion Dimitrij Ovtcharov. In a furious match, Maze was able to overcome his opponent 4:2. In the finals match though, the ever improving Marcos Freitas from Portugal posted a 4:0 victory over Maze. For the Portuguese, it was the first victory on a qualification tournament for the World Cup in Düsseldorf, coming up on October 24 to 26, 2014.
Timo Boll was fighting to overcome a stomach bug in Lausanne, but managed to finish 6th overall. In the quarter finals, he played a fantastic game against Dimitrij Ovtcharov. The match went into overtime, ending by the narrowest of margins in the seventh game 14:12 for Ovtcharov. The placement match ended due to Bolls illness with a walkover for Alexander Shibaev, who finished 5th.
Adrien Mattenet became the second spot of attention. The French player had been struggling in his performance since his first round defeat at the Olympics 2012, but in Lausanne he displayed a much more stable condition. Beating Andrej Gacina and Tiago Apolonia and finally losing to Timo Boll and Marcos Freitas (0:3, 0:4 respectively), he was close to a sensation in the placement match for 3rd place. The score was 2:2 against Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov, and Mattenet in the lead 9:5. Ovtcharov had to play his very best, very closely overcoming Mattenet 18:16 in the fifth and 12:10 in the sixth game. Mattenet, starting as seeded no 12, finished the Europe Cup as 4th.
In the Women’s singles, the finals match was decided between Austria’s Liu Jia and European Champion Viktoria Pavlovich from Belarus. The game ended 4:2 for Liu Jia, who stepped onto the podium as No. 1, followed by Pavlovich, Netherland’s Li Jiao and the German Petrissa Solja. Thusly qualifying for the Women’s World Cup are three Butterfly Players: Liu Jia, Viktoria Pavlovich and Li Jiao.
Results of the Men’s Singles:
1.FREITAS, Marcos (POR), 2.MAZE, Michael (DEN), 3. OVTCHAROV, Dimitrij (GER), 4. MATTENET, Adrien (FRA), 5. SHIBAEV, Alexander (RUS), 6. BOLL, Timo (GER), 7. GIONIS, Panagiotis (GRE), APOLONIA, Tiago (POR), 9. GACINA, Andrej (CRO), GARDOS, Robert (AUT), CRISAN, Adrian (ROU), SMIRNOV, Alexei (RUS)