The German Open featured an all-German final to be the second consecutive major international final to have Timo Boll and Dimitrij Ovtcharov face off. Ovtcharov may be #1 in the world soon. This is likely giving German table-tennis a big boost and more importance as they are now defeating China.
Timo Boll says they are closing the gap with China. Germany has possibly the best league system in the world with most towns having a table-tennis team. I played in Germany for 3 months in 1995 in Heilbronn practicing with a Bundesliga team, Sontheim, and playing for the club’s second team. The best player on that team was China’s Xu Zengcai who was World Team Champion for China in the 1980s. It was cool that I got to travel with the Bundesliga team during their matches and got to see Vladimir Samsonov when he was an upcoming player and legend Andrzej Grubba play against the team I was practicing with. I stayed with a host family that lived close to the playing hall. I went around Germany with the team for their matches and sightseeing with the host family.