Teammates one evening, two days later it was very different, they were adversaries.
On Friday 8th February, Vladimir Samsonov of Belarus and Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov lined up alongside Russia’s Alexey Smirnov in the Gazproma Orenburg team to face TTF Liebherr Ochsenhausen in the European Champions League.
A successful experience, a three-nil verdict was the end result.
Match over, it was a flight to Switzerland to take part in the Swiss Open in Lausanne, where on Sunday 10th February they met in the final of the Men’s Singles event.
Current status predicted the name of the winner would be Dimitrij Ovtcharov, he is listed at no.9 on the Men’s World Rankings and was the top seed.
However, experience suggested Vladimir Samsonov, presently listed at no.11 on the World Rankings; he is now 36 years old, some 12 years older than his German adversary.
It was to be experience that counted; Vladimir Samsonov overcame Dimitrij Ovtcharov in the final to arrest the title.
At the quarter-final stage, Vladimir Samsonov had beaten Mexico’s Marcos Madrid before defeating Canada’s Eugene Wang, to book his place in the final; at the same stages, Dimitrij Ovtcharov had recorded wins over Admir Duransphic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Korea’s Joo Saehyuk.
Victory for the second seed over the top seed was no great surprise; however that was not the situation in the counterpart Women’s Singles event where China’s non-seeded Yang Xiaoxin arrested the title.
She accounted for the host nation’s Rahel Aschwanden in the quarter-finals, before overcoming the Czech Republic’s Iveta Vacenovska, the no.1 seed, in the semi-finals and Hungary’s Georgina Pota, the no.2 seed in the final.
In the round of the last eight, Georgina Pota had beaten the Czech Republic’s Dana Cechova, before ousting Carole Grundisch of France in the penultimate round.
Success for Yang Xiaoxin and a successful tournament thanks to two other ladies.
The host nation’s Katja Brand was the Referee, Belgium’s Isabelle Beumier was the Deputy Referee.