The Challenger Series in Germany is back underway after it was halted in March. It took about just over a month for the action to resume in Ochsenhausen. Europe is slowly but surely opening up sports, but some countries will lag behind others, naturally. This is not the biggest table tennis outfit in Germany.
In fact, the German Bundesliga, not to be confused with the football league, is one of the biggest table tennis leagues in the world. If you follow table tennis, you must be familiar with who Timo Boll is. He’s one of the most recognizable European table tennis players, especially in Germany where he’s a popular figure in the table tennis community.
Germany has some good table tennis players, and Boll is one of the faces of German table tennis. Dimitrij Ovtcharov, who represents Germany, and Boll are No. 4 and No. 5 in the world rankings. Nobody is touching Ma Long and Fan Zhendong of China anytime soon, though. China has five of the top-10 table tennis players in the world.
Wong Chun Ting, who represents Hong Kong, on the global circuit is the No. 10 player in the world. Boll and Ovtcharov are the only non-Asian table tennis players in the top-10. Simon Gauzy of France, 13th, is the next closest non-Asian player to Boll.
Germany has seven players in the top-100 globally. That’s quite good actually. With all of the tennis table players in the world, it’s not easy to get into the top-100. Germany has seven of them there. You’re not going to see any of them featured today in the Challenger Series. The small purse isn’t really worth the trouble of playing in lower-tier competition. In any event, you’ll still find some decent players in the Challenger Series.
We’ll make our first pick in the Challenger Series in Ochsenhausen on Tuesday. There’s a handful of matches on the card, and hopefully we can locate a winner. Head below for our free Challenger Series pick from Ochsenhausen between Evgueni Chtchetinine vs. Sven Happek pick. This match is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. EST on April 29, 2020.
Evgueni Chtchetinine vs. Sven Happek Challenger Series Betting Odds:
Evgueni Chtchetinine vs. Sven Happek Prediction:
The best players in the Challenger Series are going to be those who didn’t lose focus during the month layoff. The ones who just sat around and didn’t keep their head in the game are likely going to face issues, at least initially. There could also be plenty of rust for some players. It might take a week or so to get back into the routine. For Sven Happek, he had problems on his first days back at the office. He played four matches and lost all of them.
Having said that, it’s just a continuation from where he left off. Happek was a loser in seven out of eight matches going into the break. With that in mind, Happek has gone 1-11 in his previous 12 matches. If he brings that kind of game to the table on Tuesday, it’s going to be another rough day for him.
Evgueni Chtchetinine is a familiar opponent. They’ve played each other 16 times in the past, with Chtchetinine winning 10 of them as opposed to 6 wins for Happek. Happek did win their most recent meeting in March, though this was before he totally went off the rails and couldn’t get anything going.
Prior to that win, Chtchetinine beat Happek in four straight matches, with three of them resulting in wins of 3-1 or better. He has been playing quite well recently, with a record of 12-4 in his previous 16 matches. Chtchetinine should be able to handle Happek on Wednesday in Germany.