Fakel Gazprom Orenburg takes its fourth TTCLM titlePhoto: Courtesy Fakel Gazproma Orenburg
Returning final leg of 2016/17 TTCLM: Orenburg – Borussia 3:2 (1st leg 3:0). ETTU President Ronald KRAMER handed over gold medals and the trophy to the winning side
Fakel Gazprom Orenburg concluded the 2016/17 Table Tennis Champions League Men season by its new victory against Borussia Dusseldorf, this time 3:2 (1st leg 3:0). Like both sides agreed before the returning leg, champion was decided five days ago in Germany, when top seed secured huge advantage, leaving just three sets to their opponents.
ETTU President Ronald KRAMER handed over gold medals and the trophy to the winning side. Orenburg has played its sixth TTCLM final in the last seven seasons, winning its fourth title (2012, 2013, 2015, 2017). Russian club is the second best in the 21st century after five times winner Royal Villette Charleroi. Borussia stands on the top of the all-time list, with 10 titles.
The champion was decided in the opening clash, when Dimitrij OVTCHAROV defeated Kristian KARLSSON in four games. It was really exciting duel, full of nice rallies and strokes from both sides. Swede had a set ball to level the score at 2-2, but host responded by three points in a row. Ultimate point was, no doubt, one of the most beautiful points in the entire season, as both showed amazing body language in long exchange.
Two great left-handers met in the second game, as Jun MIZUTANI beat Timo BOLL in straight games. In spite of lacking importance, this encounter had many beautiful exchanges.
Rising star from Sweden Anton KALLBERG managed to beat Vladimir SAMSONOV after full five games, with latest one taken by narrow margin. Borussia`s newcomer inscribed one of the biggest victories in his career so far. The 19-year-old is more than double younger than “Mr. TTCLM”.
Stefan FEGERL was extended to full distance by Alexey SMIRNOV to level the score at 2-2.
Unique undefeated player in this TTCLM edition, Jun MIZUTANI had the last word in this season. World No. 6 and 2016 Rio Olympic bronze madalist beat Kristian KARLSSON in straight games, deserving to be emphasized as player of the year. Japanese finished season with 16-0 individual score.
The 2016/17 TTCLM final, 2nd leg
Fakel Gazprom Orenburg – Borussia Dusseldorf 3:2 (1st leg 3:0)
Dimitrij OVTCHAROV – Kristian KARLSSON 3:1 (11:9, 9:11, 11:8, 12:10)
Jun MIZUTANI – Timo BOLL 3:0 (11:7, 11:5, 11:8)
Vladimir SAMSONOV – Anton KALLBERG 2:3 (11:6, 8:11, 11:2, 4:11, 12:14)
Alexey SMIRNOV – Stefan FEGERL 2:3 (10:12, 11:5, 8:11, 11:7, 9:11)
Jun MIZUTANI – Kristian KARLSSON 3:0 (11:7, 11:9, 11:5)