Borussia Dusseldorf and TTF LIEBHERR Ochsenhausen promise one more TTCLM thrillerPhoto: Courtesy ITTF
Returning matches of the TTCLM quarter-finals will be held this Friday, February 10th, with a live streaming on LAOLA1.tv
Semi-finalists of the 2016/17 Table Tennis Champions League Men will be decided this Friday, when the returning quarter-final games are scheduled: TTC FAKEL GAZPROM – ESLOVS Al BORDTENNIS (1st leg 3:1 for Russian team), BORUSSIA DUSSELDORF – TTF LIEBHERR OCHSENHAUSEN (2:3), FC SAARBRUCKEN TISCHTENNIS – CHARTRES ASTT (3:1), AS PONTOISE CERGY – G.V. HENNEBONT (3:0). Five out of eight best players from the recent 2017 ITTF Europe Top 16 Cup in Antibes, France, will participate: winner Dimitrij OVTCHAROV (Orenburg), bronze medalist Simon GAUZY (Ochsenhausen), 5th placed Timo BOLL (Borussia), 7th Tiago APOLONIA (Saarbrucken) and 8th Stefan FEGERL (Borussia).
Most exciting clash in the first quarter-finals was one between two German clubs. Their last two meetings (one in Bundesliga) were extended to full distance of five games: Borussia won in domestic league, while Ochsenhausen prevailed in the TTCLM 3:2 (12:9) as World No. 15 Simon GAUZY got two points. Ochsenhausen`s president Kristijan PEJINOVIC emphasized Frenchman role:
“Simon showed excellent table tennis, playing with a really good tactics. He plays well against BOLL and can read his game well. Simon proved his class and that he deserves his place on the ITTF World ranking list”.
The 22-year-old Simon GAUZY beat six times individual European champion Timo BOLL in last four occasions, including ITTF 2017 Europe Top 16 Cup quarter-final match four days ago – 4:2 (11:8, 3:11, 4:11, 11:7, 11:8, 11:7). GAUZY defeated German legend and leveled the score (1:1) in the first quarter-final clash, while Jakub DYJAS in the next encounter recorded probably decisive win against Stefan FEGERL. Austrian led 1:0 (10:6) but host saved five set balls and won three sets in a row.
“We certainly had our chances. FEGERL was a really good, but had a bit of a bad luck with his set-balls. Our chances are not high as we wanted, but with our own spectators in the back we can still do it”, stated Borussia`s manager Andreas PREUSS speaking for the club`s website.
Actual No. 1 TTCLM seed Orenburg hosts current runner-up Eslovs, leading by new-old Europe Top 16 Cup winner Dimitrij OVTCHAROV. Russian side had 3:1 advantage. Its vice-president Victor ANDREEV stressed:
“In the first quarter-final match the Russian TTC Fakel Gazprom won a very important victory - 3:1. Breathtaking match Jun MIZUTANI – XU Hui ended with the victory of the Japanese player. Although the result in Sweden is a cause for certain optimism, the upcoming match will be a very difficult and stressful. This means that Orenburg and the whole world will see again table tennis of the highest level”.
Saarbrucken did a nice job in France, defeating 2013 TTCLM runner-up Chartres 3:1. Coach of German club Slobodan GRUJIC, double TTCLM winner as a player, is aware that French side is very dangerous:
“We couldn’t play in our best line-up in the first leg, but we managed to secure optimal result for the returning game. One more hard match is in front of us, but I hope that we’ll have our best three players in the line-up”.
Reigning TTCLM champion Pontoise hosts G.V Hennebont in all-French quarter-final. Marcos FREITAS & Co. have a big advantage from the first duel – 3:0 (9:4).
The 2016/17 TTCLM quarter-finals, 2nd leg (Friday, February 10th)
TTC FAKEL GAZPROM – ESLOVS Al BORDTENNIS (13:30 CET, 1st leg 3:1)
BORUSSIA DUSSELDORF – TTF LIEBHERR OCHSENHAUSEN (18:30 CET, 1st leg 2:3)
FC SAARBRUCKEN TISCHTENNIS – CHARTRES ASTT (19:30 CET, 1st leg 3:1)
AS PONTOISE CERGY – G.V. HENNEBONT (20 CET, 1st leg 3:0)