Pontoise again upsets reigning TTCLM champion, Eslovs to play in their very first finalPhoto: Courtesy ITTF
After FLORE`s victory against SMIRNOV, French side led 2:1 and booked their place in the final, bearing in mind 3:1 home win. Olimpia Unia Grudziadz – Eslovs Al Bordtennis 1:3
Against all predictions: Eslovs Al Bordtennis will challenge AS Pontoise Cergy in the 2015/16 Table Tennis Champions League Men!
The 2014 TTCLM champion AS Pontoise Cergy upset the 2015 winner and actual top seed Fakel Gazproma Orenburg, playing second semi-final match held in Russia. French champion commenced with 3:1 advantage in front of 1,000 spectators at Orenburg`s Hall, and, after third encounter they could celebrate. In that moment – when Tristan FLORE beat Alexey SMIRNOV and brought 2:1 lead to Pontoise – the winner has been decided.
Dimitrij OVTCHAROV defeated Kristian KARLSSON in straight games of the opening match, but Marcos FREITAS leveled against Vladimir SAMSONOV. In that moment all eyes in the Hall were on well experienced Alexey SMIRNOV... Former Euro Top 12 winner lost to 21-year-old Tristan FLORE. Frenchmen, 2011 European Junior gold medalist at the Singles Event, was two sets down, but responded by three sets in a row to secure second TTCLM final in Pontoise`s history.
“We are very happy. After the victory in the first leg, we knew that we didn’t finish our job. On a good day, Orenburg can beat any team 3:0. But we also knew that we have players able to disturb them. This is a very good win, especially bearing in mind that we decided to put Tristan FLORE in place of WANG Jian Jun. Now that we're in the final, the goal is obviously to win. “
Swedish champion Eslovs Al Bordtennis, actual ETTU Cup winner, again shocked Olimpia Unia Grudziadz. These two teams met in the 2015 ETTU Cup final, as Eslovs lifted the trophy. This time, it looked like Polish champion is closer to the TTCLM final, having 3:2 away victory. But, XU Hui & Co. showed their team spirit like never before and deserved their very first TTCLM final. Each of Eslov`s players contributed with one point in the 3:1 win.
Robert SVENSSON beat Yoshida KAII in the opener, managing to recover after 2:0 lead of Japanese player, and it determined the whole clash. WANG Yang kept host side in the game, as he beat XU Hui. But, OVERSJO and XU overcame ZATOWKA and KAII respectively to secure historic victory for Eslovs Al Bordtennis.
Returning semi-final leg of 2015/16 TTCLM
Fakel Gazproma Orenburg – AS Pontoise Cergy 3:2 (1st match 1:3)
Dimitrij OVTCHAROV – Kristian KARLSSON 3:0 (11:5, 11:8, 12:10)
Vladimir SAMSONOV – Marcos FREITAS 1:3 (12:14, 7:11, 11:3, 6:11)
Alexey SMIRNOV – Tristan FLORE 2:3 (11:7, 11:7, 8:11, 7:11, 8:11)
Dimitrij OVTCHAROV – Marcos FREITAS 3:0 (11:0, 11:0, 11:0)
Vladimir SAMSONOV – Kristian KARLSSON 3:0 (11:0, 11:0, 11:0)
Olimpia Unia Grudziadz – Eslovs Al Bordtennis 1:3 (1st leg 3:2)
Yoshida KAII – Robert SVENSSON 2:3 (12:10, 11:6, 9:11, 5:11, 4:11)
WANG Yang – XU Hui 3:2 (11:6, 11:8, 8:11, 9:11, 11:9)
Patryk ZATOWKA – Mattias OVERSJO 1:3 (9:11, 11:7, 6:11, 3:11)
Yoshida KAII – XU Hui 1:3 (7:11, 8:11, 7:11)