Timo Boll has overcome the first big hurdle at the World Table Tennis Championships in Houston and is in the third round after beating the Chinese Zhou Qihao.

After the bye in the first round, the 4: 1 (11: 8, 11: 6, 11: 8, 5:11, 12:10) was the first individual game for Boll at the premiere World Cup in the USA.

“I immediately tried to take a little risk, to play precisely and to be focused.

Everything went really well from the start, ”said Boll.

“If he plays easily, he is already very strong.

But again and again I managed to occupy him and also to make him insecure, somehow, ”said Boll.

The table tennis world championship will be held until November 29th - it will be the first to take place in the USA.

Timo Boll and his partner Patrick Franziska had previously successfully started the doubles competition in Houston. The world-class duo defeated the Serbian Aleksandar Karakasevic and the Slovak Lubomir Pistej in 3-1 sets on Wednesday, but will now face the title favorites Fan Zhendong and Wang Chuqin from China in the second round on Thursday. Fan is the current number one in the world rankings, the only 21-year-old Wang already won the double title at the 2019 World Cup in Budapest alongside Ma Long, who was missing this time.

“We have had a hard time.

That wasn't a really good performance, ”said Boll after the first round match.

When asked what needs to be improved against the Chinese, the 40-year-old replied: “Everything.

But that will also be a different game.

We hope we can catch them a little on the wrong foot. "

Boll and Franziska are also among the best doubles in the world.

In 2019 they won the China Open together.

At the World Cup in the same year they were about to win a medal before Boll had to give up because of a fever.

Since they have only rarely played doubles together at international level recently due to the corona pandemic, they are not seeded at this World Cup.