The Dream Team: Ovtcharov / Persson in the big interview
( Original Article (in German) may be found here )

31.03.2015 – One is already single champion, the other it would like to be. Jörgen Persson and Ovtcharov follow the example of the recently spectacular tennis duo Boris Becker / Novak Djokovic or Stefan Edberg / Roger Federer. As the Swede Europe can help number one in the realization of his greatest dreams and why Ovtcharov forms in which no double with Timo Boll or a Chinese WM, tell the two large myTischtennis.de interview.

To the Pictures!

myTischtennis.de : This constellation that a legend serves a current top players is very modern just in tennis. Have you been inspired it?

Ovtcharov : We have long known by our shared, long-term supplier Donic. At the 2014 Masters Taiwan Jörgen then said for fun: Boris Becker serves now Novak Djokovic and Stefan Edberg is on Roger Federer. Maybe we should try something like table tennis players sometimes. ‘ At that time, Jörgen was involved in many other projects, but we kept in touch. I then eventually came to the point that I said, I have to change something times in order to make another step forward. Because of course I have achieved a lot, but I still have big goals and need for new inspiration – in addition to the great support I get from Jörg Rosskopf and the whole team. Although Jörgen is not a classic coach, but he’s singles world champion. And I just wanted to work with someone who has achieved what I am dreaming of me. Thanks to my partner and HGHI Donic I now get this chance.

Jörgen Persson : I have had many coaches themselves. And at some point you need this new inspiration to evolve, even if one is already enrolled in a lacy coaching staff. Dima ‘plays on the level at which I played, and I know my way around. He wants to win against the Chinese, who currently are indeed quite dominant. That was also the case before we Sweden then beaten yet. It is very important that you not be accepted that the Chinese are unbeatable. And Dima ‘has this goal in mind and is keen. And me too.

Ovtcharov : Just tactically the Swedes were probably even more than the Chinese now. Since you also must not go back that far. Jörgen has won the team competition of the Olympic Games three years ago against Timo – and not because he had a bad day. Jörgen previously knew exactly how he has to play against him and that he can do that. Or 2008 he had given clear goal that he gets an individual medal, which was almost ridiculed by many. In the end he was the one who stood with over 40 years in the semifinals. This mental attitude has inspired me very much.

myTischtennis.de : Jörgen also heard about your childhood idols?

Ovtcharov : Yes, of course! Jörgen, Vladimir Samsonov, Rossi and Jan-Ove Waldner were formerly represented quite large on my room walls. When I then met him in 2003 about the first time was something very special for me. And that is nowadays still is. There is something special when such a legend just for me comes from Sweden to take care of me during training.

Jörgen Persson : Federer has indeed been 17 Grand Slam titles, he has already won everything. He is trying out the new inspiration and to detail can be worked on. Dima ‘has an Olympic medal, champions of Europe and so on. But as far as the little things, because I can give him my experience a few additional tips.

myTischtennis.de : What is, for example, such a trifle, where you can work at Ovtcharov yet?

Jörgen Persson : I do not want to reveal everything (laughs). No, he has a lot of power. But I want him to varied designs his game and improve his passive play. He can also make simple points and does not always have to attack. So, we do not want to change his whole game, but work on such small things, where you can bring about improvements in a short time.

myTischtennis.de : In addition to Jörgen you’ve also Jörg Rosskopf, your father and Zhu Xiaoyong by your side. As you can imagine, the division of tasks in your rather large coaching staff?

Ovtcharov : Jörgen is a super new help for me, but the helm of course still Jörg Rosskopf in hand. For me it is very important to train intensively every day – and there can assist me still good Jörgen. In DTTZ I’m already very well promoted by Zhu Xiaoyong, the head of men’s training group, which I owe a lot to my father of course I can always count Benni Schmitz is responsible for athletics and Jörg Rosskopf is a state coach at the head of the whole system. Jörgen is within the week almost always in a pub there, work there hand in hand with Xiaoyong and also runs many tournaments. He looks at how I play, and thus collects new ideas for training, which he discusses with Rossi or Xiaoyong. Then all pull in the same direction and at the end support me where to go. So it’s not like that at a unit 16 coaches standing around me. They all work together as a team and pursue the same strategy.

myTischtennis.de : But in a tournament sitting normally Jörg Rosskopf in the pits and coaches?

Jörgen Persson : Yes, he has been a national coach, of course, the head coach and the head of the box. I’m more of an observer in the stands could at times subsequent potential opponents can watch. In future World Tour tournaments I will try but maybe also from time to time in the pits – but of course only if Rossi is not present.

myTischtennis.de : What experience have you gained as a coach?

Jörgen Persson : 2005 to 2006 I was a year in the Aspire Academy in Qatar coach, where I trained young people. That was a good experience. The last few years I was not active as a coach, have in my home but shared many of my last experience with the young Swedish national team. This is, I think my great advantage, because I made ​​a lot of important matches at major tournaments.

Ovtcharov : For me it is one of the main points that Jörgen has lived through it all before. And the second reason why I have chosen for him and not for a more experienced coach is that he still has a playful level, which may be placed on the 50th place in the world rankings around. Since I can every now and still hang after training for half an hour with him or make a whole unit with him. China is a pioneer because: They have a lot of sparring partners and many coaches. Jörgen is both in one person.

myTischtennis.de : What’s the plan at the World Championships in Suzhou? Do you notice how you got closer to the Chinese lately?

Ovtcharov : I had a good period in the summer, then a very bad fall, which has also opened my eyes, that I sometimes lose a bit too much time. Currently, I’m actually pretty good at in the juice and feel well prepared for the World Cup. For the reduction, it is a pity that I no longer have the Fourth World Ranking. But I was good even at the last World Cup it and then I failed at the end of Patrick Baum. Therefore, one should not be too much to hold on to any setting, but see to it that you prepared perfectly goes there and then looks from round to round.

Jörgen Persson : And what year this is optimal: Before this World Cup, you have five weeks time to prepare yourself one hundred percent. Dima ‘now has only one game in the semi-finals of the Champions League. This is perfect!

myTischtennis.de : What do you think Jörgen, is the most effective means against China?

Jörgen Persson : Of course, hard work, but also imagination in play. This is very important.

myTischtennis.de : The German Open thou hast, Dimitrij against Ma Long already 2: 0 out. Do you have there also proved especially fantasy?

Ovtcharov : We have partnered with Rossi looked again the game at the World Cup in Tokyo already three or four weeks before the German Open and together made ​​us a couple of thoughts. Yes you have to change something. I can not always taste the same and lose the same. I think I’m very surprised Ma Long in Bremen at the beginning. But he is so strong in the mitzubekommen quickly and adapt it well. Then, the time at which you have to change playful and mentally comes again, and I have not been so successful.

myTischtennis.de : Since then the imagination comes into play again …

Jörgen Persson : Yes, that’s that. We must not forget that, Dima ‘is now up there and is closely monitored by the Chinese, because they see him as one of their worst enemies. They know about everything, Dima ‘. And that is why it is important that you go to the thing with imagination and also in the game finds solutions. That he could surprise Ma Long in Bremen, he must take for his self-confidence.

myTischtennis.de : In Suzhou Ma Long will team with Timo Boll in double what excites currently a lot of attention. You yourself will walk only in singles. Why?

Jörgen Persson: Actually we wanted to play doubles, but I canceled (Both laugh).

Ovtcharov : No, it all came very quickly and was a surprise even to me. At the end of the item for me is incomparably more important than the double. I have now played with no partner for a long time, so you could say it is so well established that they have a chance of a World Cup medal. For me count at the end but only medals and I see the much larger opportunities in singles. So I’ll be there to put the full focus on it.

myTischtennis.de : Would it also have been an option for you, you team up with a Chinese?

Ovtcharov : Yes, it would have been interesting. Last year, yes Timo and Ma Long at the China Open against Yan and won me almost in the final. That was a lot of fun. But the option just did not occur to me this year.

myTischtennis.de : Many’re probably wondering, why do not the two best German players, Timo Boll and you, once get together for such an event is …

Ovtcharov : This is not a decision that I make. We once at the tournament, played together China against the world ‘double and almost lost to Ma Lin and Wang Liqin. This also works well. We are just two very good individual players. And if we would play together often double, we would always be better here. But I think Rossi plans as simply different in that respect, because Timo and I will make sure no double in Rio and the third German then plays two singles. And since Olympia always has absolute priority, he wants to try anything but this pairing, which in my view makes a lot of sense.

myTischtennis.de : Could it happen that we will see you in Rio again in the box, Jorgen? You have your career end in the past already often times interrupted for the Olympic Games.

Jörgen Persson : No, not this time. Now I’m Dimas’ coach.

myTischtennis.de : No chance for a comeback?

Jörgen Persson : (laughs) No, no chance. In 2008 and 2012, I had the feeling that I can win a medal. That was my goal that motivated me. 2016 I might play to go for the eighth time the Olympic Games, but not at the level that I want. I want to feel that I can defeat the best that I can win this medal, which I have not done seven times. So no. I hope I’ll be there, but not as a player.

Photos of the Two Training (via mytischtennis.com)