TTCLM: Russian giants to meet in the quarter-finalsPhoto: ZHURAVLEV
The 2015/16 quarter-finals pairs are: Orenburg – UMMC, Borussia – Pontoise, Olimpia-Unia – Saarbrucken, Eslovs – Chartres
The draw of the 2015/16 TTCL quarterfinals promises thrilling games in the beginning of the new year, as its outcome shows: Fakel Gazproma Orenburg – UMMC Verkhnyaya Pyshma, Borussia Dusseldorf – AS Pontoise Cergy, ASTS Olimpia-Unia Grudziadz – Saarbrucken TT, Eslovs Al Bordtennis – Chartres ASTT. First leg will be held on January 15-19th.
In the all-Russian quarter-finals three times TTCLM winner and actual champion, Orenburg is going to play against the 2012 runner-up, UMMC. These two giants met in the 2011/12 final, as Vladimir SAMSONOV & Co. lifted the trophy. Both went through the group stage with 4-2 score, but Orenburg tops Group A, while UMMC occupies second spot of Group B. They combined nine consecutive titles of Russian Super League in the last nine year (Orenburg 7, UMMC 2). Orenburg have been crowned TTCLM champion three times in four years (2012, 2013, 2015), adding 2010 ETTU Cup trophy which belonged to UMMC three years later. Two best ranked TTCLM players will be a part of this duel: Dimitrij OVTCHAROV (world`s no. 4) and Jun MIZUTANI (no. 6)
Ten times TTCLM champion Borussia and the 2014 winner Pontoise (both clubs 4-2 in group stage) will fight again one against another for the reward in this competition. They met in the unforgettable quarterfinals at the beginning of this year, when Timo BOLL side progressed to the semis thanks to better set-ratio (both teams won 3:1 at home). World`s no. 8 Marcos FREITAS led his side in the group stage, while no. 7 and six times individual European champion, Timo BOLL was out of the action for three months due to injury (he underwent knee surgery) but his recent return gives new hope to the 27 times champion of Bundesliga.
Olimpia-Unia Grudziadz plays in its very first quarter-final, while Saarbrucken targets its second TTCLM semi-final, after 2011/12 season when they were beaten by UMMC after Alexander SHIBAEV`s amazing comeback against Bojan TOKIC. Polish champion managed to finish first in the Group B, though they played against Verkhnaya Pyshma`s side. Saarbrucken has a promising season in Bundesliga, thus it must be surely good fight.
Actual ETTU Cup winner Eslovs and 2013 TTCLM runner-up conclude the list of quarter-final pairs. Swedish club surpassed all expectations in Group C, starting with 4-0 score, but their well known team spirit must be confirmed in the upcoming clash against unique unbeaten team in the group stage. Chartres coach Calin TOMA has a long bench, as he played with five players in the first six rounds: GAO Ning, Robert GARDOS, Par GERELL, Alexander ROBINOT and Joao MONTEIRO.
The 2015/16 TTCLM Quarter-finals
Fakel Gazproma Orenburg – UMMC Verkhnaya Pyshma
Borussia Dusseldorf – AS Pontoise Cergy
ASTS Olimpia-Unia Grudziadz – Saarbrucken TT
Eslovs Al Bordtennis – Chartres ASTT