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Champions League Men - 17 May 2014

Pontoise polish off reigning champions


AS Pontoise Cergy overcame all expectations defeating at home reigning Men`s ECL champion Fakel Gazproma Orenburg 3:1 in first final game. French side secured nice set ratio (10:5) for the rematch will be held in Russia on May 30th. It was a good team wor

AS Pontoise Cergy overcame all expectations defeating at home reigning Men`s ECL champion Fakel Gazproma Orenburg 3:1 in first final game. French side secured nice set ratio (10:5) for the rematch will be held in Russia on May 30th.

It was a good team work of Pontoise who played its very first MECL final, while Orenburg fights for third title in a row. Defending champions beat them twice in 2012/13 semi-final (3:0, 3:2).

The match was opened by the clash between players born on 1988, as Dimitrij OVTCHAROV beat Marcos FREITAS in four games after very close first three sets. German. It was clear that there is no secret between them, because their rivalry started 12 years ago, in 2002 European Youth Championships in Moscow, when FREITAS beat OVTCHAROV in cadet`s final. Portuguese also was better in 2006 EYCH in Sarajevo, reaching gold in junior`s events, while German took the bronze, but in senior`s competition OVTCHAROV is actual European champion and world`s no. 4.

Two most experienced players met in second encounter and WANG Jian Jun overcame Vladimir SAMSONOV in straight games. Probably nobody expected such fast win of Chinese, but he just confirmed his good shape from last couple of games in French Pro A league. Byelorussian started well in third set (4:1, 6:3) but host turned the lead very soon.

In last season`s semi-finals Kristian KARLSSON was beaten twice by Alexey SMIRNOV, but tonight defeat him in four sets. Russian is considered as the best no. 3 player for years in the league, but this time 22 year old Swede showed a lot of energy, having too many nice top spines. Host made a key step in late third set when he succeeded to save three set balls taking last five points in a row (5:9, 7:10, 12:10).

Finally, Marcos FREITAS provided big victory for French side, beating great Vladimir SAMSONOV in four games. Portuguese had a nice lead almost in each set (5:0 in 2nd, 6:1, 8:2 in 4th), but guests managed to survive in third one when he took four consecutive points (4:5, 8:5). Host missed chance to finish the game in straight sets when he made a serve error on 9:9 in 3rd set, but he was excellent in fourth one, starting with 6:1 and 8:2.


AS Pontoise Cergy – Fakel Gazproma Orenburg 3:1
Marcos FREITAS – Dimitrij OVTCHAROV 1:3 (11:13, 9:11, 12:10, 6:11)
WANG Jian Jun – Vladimir SAMSONOV 3:0 (11:9, 11:8, 11:8)
Kristian KARLSSON – Alexey SMIRNOV 3:1 (12:10, 5:11, 12:10, 11:8)
Marcos FREITAS – Vladimir SAMSONOV 3:1 (11:7, 11:8, 10:12, 11:5)

Alex MILETIC, EWT

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