TTCLM: Reigning champion loses in FrancePhoto: Courtesy ITTF
AS Pontoise Cergy beat Fakel Gazproma Orenburg 3:1 in the first semi-final leg
The 2014 TTCLM winner beat actual champion in the first semi-final leg of the 2015/16 TTCLM: AS Pontoise Cergy – Fakel Gazproma Orenburg 3:1. Current individual European champion Dimitrij OVTCHAROV lost both his matches, what happened just second time in the last five seasons.
Russian side opened better the game, as Vladimir SAMSONOV defeated Kristian KARLSSON in four games. Host got opening game, while Byelorussian was superior in the next three, making a big gap from the beginning of each set: in the second and third the result has unfolded in same way (twice 6:2, 8:3), while the fourth one started with 9:0 in favor of guest.
Two finalists of the 2015 LIEBHERR ITTF European Championships, Marcos FREITAS and Dimitrij OVTCHAROV met in the second game at the Hall Omnisport in Pontoise, and runner-up overcame gold medalist 3:1 (11:4, 7:11, 11:6, 11:9). The fourth set was very intense, starting by 6:1 lead of Portuguese, but German recovered to 7:7. That was followed by FREITAS` two points in the row (8:8, 10:8).
Youngest player in the clash, Tristan FLORE (21) prevailed against one of the most experienced TCLM players Alexey SMIRNOV, after full five games. Russian saved three match-balls in the fourth set, but host didn’t lose his nerves and firmly controlled the score in the fifth game.
Finally, KARLSSON defeated OVTCHAROV who missed recent PERFECT 2016 World Team TT Championships due to injury. Swede was convincing in the last moments of the first (9:10, 12:10) and fourth set (7:8, 10:8).
AS Pontoise Cergy – Fakel Gazproma Orenburg 3:1
Kristian KARLSSON – Vladimir SAMSONOV 1:3 (11:9, 6:11, 5:11, 3:11)
Marcos FREITAS – Dimitrij OVTCHAROV 3:1 (11:4, 7:11, 11:6, 11:9)
Tristan FLORE – Alexey SMIRNOV 3:2 (12:10, 7:11, 11:4, 11:13, 11:9)
Kristian KARLSSON – Dimitrij OVTCHAROV 3:1 (12:10, 11:7, 6:11, 11:9)