Austria rewrites the history booksPhoto: Alex LOMAEV, Butterfly
After the previous victory over the top seeds, Austria overcame Germany
Austria rewrites the history books. For a first time team clinched the title in Men’s Teams Event at Old Continent. In the final of the 2015 LIEBHERR ITTF European Championships Robert GARDOS, Stefan FEGERL and Daniel HABESOH beat Germany 3:2.
After the powerful exchange of the strokes, aggressive attack and leveled game, in the finish of the first two sets it was BAUM who had a better touch. With the same power and lethal finish GARDOS responded to level the game and force it to the decider. Despite BAUM’S better start of the game it was GARDOS to reach the match ball first. BAUM saved it and converted it into one of his own. However, he did not manage to score; GARDOS seized the second opportunity for 3:2 (7:11, 8:11, 11:8, 11:7, 13:11).
“We were ready for the long match. If you want to beat Germany you have to be prepared to play the marathon. It stands the same for my first match. I never gave up. I kept fighting,” explained GARDOS.
World’s no. five started the match accordingly to his rankings. Best-ranked European, Dimitrij OVTCHAROV had 3:1 before Austria called for time out and FEGERL reached 7:4. With good service game Dimitrij narrowed the gap and then leveled to 8 all. In the closing stages of the opening game, OVTCHAROV saved two set balls, but third went on Stefan’s account.
At 3:1 for FEGERL, OVTCHAROV called for time out in second game. The break worked to perfection. He won next seven consecutive points – 8:3. FFEGER leveled in the closing stages in the game, before great battle concluded with 19:17 for OVTCHAROV. After he won second game, OVTCHAROV established the control in the match, so third game went on his account.
In fourth game, FEGERL saved five match balls and forced into the decisive game. Again, the fifth game was close, but OVTCHAROV halted greater upset. He succeeded after one hour and 14 minutes, and no need to mention it was not the match between the top spin artists 2:3 (12:10, 17:19, 7:11, 14:12, 10:12).
In the third match of the contest, Daniel HABESOHN outplayed Patrick FRANZISKA in two opening games. FRANZISKA recovered. With the game at the edge of the knife he leveled by narrow margins and secured the decisive game. In the thrilling finish it was HABESOHN who emerged successfully 3:2 (11:9, 11:7, 10:12, 10:12, 11:5).
“It was hard after being two games up and having 10:8 in third to lose the game. I was under pressure, but we depended on that victory,” explained HABESOHN.
Robert made an early lead, but OVTCHAROV stayed close for one -all. The battle remained close, but it was German player who kept game under control. Like he said before the Championships, OVTCHAROV was the haunted player, but after severe pressure and attacks he proved there is no chinks in his armour. In the final he brought Germany, hard earned, two victories 1:3 (11:8, 8:11, 8:11, 5:11).
Like in the matches Austria vs. Russia and Austria vs. Portugal it was FEGERL who faced the pressure of the agonizing fifth match. In both previous occasions he emerged successfully and he kept his record in Ekaterineburg clean. Today he overcame Patrick BAUM 3:0 (11:9, 11:8, 11:6).
“This time it was easer then in previous matches. Germany was under greater pressure. This time I played relaxed,” said FEGERL.