The German table tennis team can win international titles even without its two top stars Timo Boll and Dimitrij Ovtcharov.

At the European Top 16 tournament in Thessaloniki, Greece, Patrick Franziska (1. FC Saarbrücken) won the men's competition on Sunday and Nina Mittelham (TTC Berlin Eastside) won the women's competition.

For both of them it was their first ever participation in the traditional ranking tournament.

The world number 18.

Franziska defeated the World Cup runner-up Mattias Falck from Sweden (4-2) in the semifinals and the Portuguese Marcos Freitas in 4-1 sets in the final.

The former double and current mixed European champion Mittelham earned the first international singles title of her career by beating the Portuguese Yu Fu 4-1 in the final.

In the quarter-finals, the 24-year-old beat the top seed Sofia Polcanova from Austria.

In the history of the European ranking tournament, Franziska, who, like Mittelham, receives a prize of 10,000 euros for the win, is the third German winner after the record winner Boll (seven titles) and the Olympic third Dimitrij Ovtcharov (Hameln / Orenburg).

The two German aces were missing in Greece after they had divided all of the Europe Top 16 titles since 2015.

In order to concentrate better on the new World Table Tennis tournament series and on the individual World Cup in November in Houston after the Olympic Games, defending champion Boll, Olympic bronze medalist Ovtcharov and European champion Petrissa Solja took part in the top 16 tournament canceled. Boll and Ovtcharov will also be absent from the European Team Championships in Romania from September 28th to October 3rd.

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