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Champions League Men - 9 Mar 2014

Four-hour holding breath, SHIBAEV did it!


Actual Russian champion beat defending Men`s ECL champion in 1st leg of 2013/14 MECL semi-final: UMMC Verkhnaya Pyshma – Fakel Gazproma Orenburg 3:2. The clash took four hours, having many upside-downs. No doubt, everything will be open in the rematch to

Actual Russian champion beat defending Men`s ECL champion in 1st leg of 2013/14 MECL semi-final: UMMC Verkhnaya Pyshma – Fakel Gazproma Orenburg 3:2. The clash took four hours, having many upside-downs. No doubt, everything will be open in the rematch to be held on April 11th.

Jun MIZUTANI played a main role in this exciting clash, while actual German and European champion, Dima OVTCHAROV lost both his games. The 2010 Pro Tour Grand Finals winner, current no. 11 on ITTF World Ranking list, defeated two ITTF Top 10 players, Dimitrij OVTCHAROV (no. 6) and Vladimir SAMSONOV (no. 10).

German reached opening set against the best UMMC`s player, taking last four sets in a row (7:9, 11:9), but Japanese kept his confidence and beat him in four games. It could say that the host made one of his decisive steps in early third set, coming from 1:4 to 10:6, continuing to improve his play in ultimate set.

In the second encounter, three times individual European champion, Vladimir SAMSONOV defeated newly crowned Russian champion, Alexander SHIBAEV in four games. The each set won the one who started better.

Alexey SMIRNOV again showed why he is the best no.3 player for years in MECL. Former Euro TOP 12 winner overcame Joao MONTEIRO in four sets, bringing advantage for Orenburg. Portuguese reached opening set after several upside-downs, while Russian easily took next three.

Jun MIZURANI was criticized by coach Tatiana KURERGINA after one of group stage games, but today he played fantastic. After OVTCHAROV, he beat SAMSONOV too, this time in straight games. Byelorussian had a chance to prolong the match to fourth set, having 9:7 lead in third, but Japanese turned on 10:9 and finally converted third set ball to the win.

After four clashes the result was 2:2 and the winner depended on two recently crowned national championships: SHIBAEV (Russia) and OVTCHAROV (Germany). After magnificent start of the host (9:0 in first, 8:2 in second), guest managed to level on 2:2 in sets (6:6, 10:6 in 3rd, 7:7, 11:7 in 4th). They were equal until 6:6 in fifth and in that moment tall Russian took three in a row, having soon three match balls.

2013/14 Men`s European Champions League semi-final (1st leg)

UMMC Verkhnaya Pyshma – Fakel Gazproma Orenburg 3:2
Jun MIZUTANI – Dimitrij OVTCHAROV 3:1 (9:11, 11:9, 11:9, 11:7)
Alexander SHIBAEV – Vladimir SAMSONOV 1:3 (5:11, 9:11, 11:2, 9:11)
Joao MONTEIRO – Alexey SMIRNOV 1:3 (15:13, 6:11, 7:11, 4:11)
Jun MIZUTANI – Vladimir SAMSONOV 3:0 (11:7, 11:7, 13:11)
Alexander SHIBAEV – Dimitrij OVTCHAROV 3:2 (11:2, 11:4, 8:11, 7:11, 11:9)

 

Alex MILETIC, EWT

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