Germany retain European Championships men's team titlePhoto: Rémy Gros
Liebherr European Championships
Germany won eight title in Men’s Teams Event and made it second time in the row at the LIEBHERR European Championships. In Nantes they overcame Portugal and it was their fifth match at the Championships and fifth victory. In addition, neither of three players, Timo BOLL, Dimitrij OVTCHAROV and Patrick FRANZISKA had felt the bitterness of defeat in singles match on their way to the new crown. They maintained the unbeaten status in six days tournament.
As a matter of fact last time they suffered defeat was in the final of the European Championships in Ekaterinburg 2015 when they lost to Austria. In Luxembourg two years latter they overcame Portugal also.
Dimitrij OVTCHAROV overcame Marcos FREITAS in opening match (7-11, 7-11, 8-11). The two had met on nine previous occasions with the results being in favor of Germany’s player, and the tenth duel in Nantes did not make any difference. The opening stages of first two games went to Marcos account, but from moment when OVTCHAROV settled into the rhythm he was in control. Only in third game in the closing stages FREITAS narrowed the gap from 6-9 to 8-9, but next two points went to his adversary.
“It is not easy to play against him. We are in the same club and in few days we will fight with each other against others. However, German team is very strong and it is easier when you know you have those guys by your side,” said OVTCHAROV.
Joao MONTEIRO lost all his eight previous encounters against Timo BOLL, bur rarely it was quiet affair. In last two matches best ranked player in Europe was stretched to full distance; most recently in China earlier this year. The match in Nantes was not exception to the rule. Timo BOLL manage to overcame Joao MONTEIRO in four games (7-11, 11-4, 9-11, 7-11) but not before he faced pressure. His service was not that lethal against lefthanders, so MONTEIRIO took his chance to control second and good part of third game. That was not enough and, eventually, BOLL found his way to win the duel.
“OVTCHAROV and FRANZISKA made it easier for me. It is much more enjoyable to play without being under big stress. They took the pressure out of me,” said BOLL.”It is difficult to play against MONTEIRO because of his style, but eventually I found right rhythm.”
Patrick FRANZISKA faced difficulties in two opening games against Tiago APOLONIA, but from the third game it was one way street that leads to another German success (10-12, 9-11, 4-11)
“It is nice to be the one who will win the last point,” said FRANZISKA after comment that he came in play after 2-0 once again.