Champions League Men

Top seeds justified their status and reached semi finals

Photo: Jörg Fuhrmann, Revierfoto

Champions League Men 2020/21 in ARAG CenterCourt


The day packed with uncertainty concluded with thrilling duel between 1 FC Saarbrücken and GV Hennenbont TT.In the semi final of the Champions League Men 2020/21 in ARAG CenterCourt Düsseldorf, on Thursday will play: TTSC UMMC vs. Borussia Düsseldorf and Fakel-Gazprom Orenburg vs. 1 FC Saarbrücken.


You can see all the results here.

You can follow the action live here.

You can see pictures here.


TTSC UMMC - KS Dartom Bogoria Grodzisk Mazowiecki 3:1

Liam PITCHFORD – Pavel SIRUCEK 1:3 (6:11, 11:13, 11:6, 10:12)

Jonathan GROTH – Marek BADOWSKI 3:1(11:7, 11:2, 9:11, 11:7)

Tomislav PUCAR – Milosz REDZIMSKI 3:1 (8:11, 11:8, 11:9, 11:6)

Liam PITCHFORD - Marek BADOWSKI (11:6, 11:8, 5:11, 11:9)

Russia's TTSC UMMC, runners up from 2019 and 2012, booked their place in the semi final of the Champions League Men 2020/21 in ARAG CenterCourt, Düsseldorf. In the opening match of the quarterfinal they overcame Poland's KS Dartom Bogoria Grodzisk Mazowiecki.

The opening match of the quarterfinal commenced with the upset. Pavel SIRUCEK entered the match in full speed. Liam PITCHFORD could not settled into the rhythm in the opening game, but commenced in better style second one. SIRUCEK took some time but adapted and recovered to close the second game by narrow margin. Liam PITCHFORD continued to fight and won third game; still, SIRUCEK has not loosened his grip. Czech national champion ranked currently at the position no. 22 in Europe, overcame Europe's no. 4.

Jonathan GROTH overcame Marek BADOWSKI. The opening game GROTH managed to take off after 7:7 and to close the game at 11:7. From that moment the match was heading his way. BADOWSKI halted GROTH progress in third game. He made safe 9:4 gap, Groth came close at 10:9, but BADOWSKI forced Dane into the error. GROTH stayed focused and sealed the match in his favor.

Tomislav PUCAR lost first game against Milosz REDZIMSKI, but thanks to good service he leveled. The match remained close until the final points, but it was PUCAR who was always ahead.

On his second exit to the table PITCHFORD left no space for another upset. BADOWSKI was keeping the pressure, but Liam held him one step behind.

“Bogoria Grodzisk Mazowiecki is a very dangerous team. SIRUCEK was very good junior, then he needed some time to adapt to next level, but this year he improved his game a lot. Generally, it was really difficult for me to make composition of the team for this match. SIRUCEK used to play against PITCHFORD when they were younger and from that time we know his style is not easy for Liam. In addition GROTH already had difficult moments against BADOWSKI last year in the Champions League. He lost one match and won one by narrow margin. He was under severe pressure after Liam's match. It continued with PUCAR who is playing first Champions League for the club. Whoever plays in Russia's League, knows how much players are under pressure to meet the expectations. Now everything will be easier for him when he broke the ice,” said coach Zoran PRIMORAC.”It is great pleasure to work with this team. Our team spirit is very high and I enjoy being their coach.”


Photo: Jörg Fuhrmann, Revierfoto

Fakel-Gazprom Orenburg - Roskilde Bordtennis BTK61 3:0

Marcos FREITAS – Michael MAZE 3:2 (11:8, 10:12, 13:11, 9:11, 6:4)

Vladimir SAMSONOV – Jens LUNDQUIST 3:0 (11:6, 11:9, 19:17)

Dimitrij OVTCHAROV – Alan BENTSEN 3:0 (11:4, 11:6, 11:3)

The winners of the Champions League Men in 2019, 2017, 2015, 2013 and 2012, Fakel-Gazprom Orenburg

The power was on the menu in the duel between Marcos FREITAS and Michael MAZE. 2009 European Champion and player currently ranked at the position no. 152 in Europe forced Continent's no. 8 FREITAS to go full distance in the neck and neck duel.

“It was very hard match. I knew it will be that way. He is very good player with the good eye for the game. Also he has the game for my service and all of that makes the encounter very difficult for me. At the end I was little bit better and I am happy I gave the good start to my team,” said FREITAS.

Vladimir SAMSONOV overcame Jens LUNDQUIST in straight games, but the game was much closer than the result predicts. In second and third game SAMSONOV was severely tested.

“The beginning for Marcos was extremely difficult, but when he overcame MAZE it put some pressure off the team. We are very happy to reach semi final and also everyone is happy to see Dimitrij playing at such high level,” said SAMSONOV.

After two close matches, the third duel between Dimitrij OVTCHAROV and ALAN BENTSEN was relatively quiet affair. Europe's no. 3 showed no weak spot.

“After all the circumstances that preceded this tournament, we are very happy that we are here and able to play and to reach the semi final. I sealed with the 3:0 win, but I think the key point was Marcos' victory over MAZE. I was very happy to see Michael playing again. He was as good as before. That is why Marcus' win gave us great deal of confidence. I was playing against BENSTEN after 2:0 for my team, so it took away all of pressure from me,” said OVTCHAROV.


Photo: Jörg Fuhrmann, Revierfoto

Borussia Düsseldorf - Sporting Clube de Portugal 3:1

Timo BOLL – Bode ABIODUN 3:1 (10:12, 11:4, 17:15, 11:7)

Anton KALLBERG – Diogo CARVALHO 3:0 (11:7, 11:4, 11:8)

Kristian KARLSSON – Thiago MONTEIRO 2:3 (4:11, 8:11, 11:4, 11:7, 4:6)

Timo BOLL – Diogo CARVALHO 3:0 (11:7, 12:10, 11:6)

Five time winners Borussia Düsseldorf was challenged but remained firm on its way to semi final. Against Sporting Clube de Portugal, Germany's club recorded four matches victory.

Not everything went smooth for Timo BOLL at the beginning of the match against Bode ABIODUN, but he managed to control the game. Anton KALLBERG beat Diogo CARVALHO in straight games, before Kristian KARLSSON lost to Thiago MONTEIRO.

KARLSSON recovered from 2:0 in reverse to level the match. In decisive game Swede had advantage 4:3, but MONTEIRO made a “mini break”; he won the equalizer on KARLSSON's service and won next two points to win the match.

BOLL faced Diogo CARVALHO in the fourth match and secured the win for Borussia Düsseldorf.

“Timo BOLL made a good start. It is always difficult to play against Bode ABIODUN. He is not average player. He has a very difficult service and sometimes he made unbelievable balls. He kept his focus...On the other side BOLL is improving his game though the tournament. It was visible especially in the last match against Diogo CARVALHO. We saw some spin-spin game..It was good for timo to play two matches,” explained coach Danny HEISTER.

Coach continued with the analyze of the match.

“Anton is very stable. He is always playing at the high level and occasionally he even goes up. He did a great job this time, since he lost against Diogo CARVALHO last time. I think that Kristian had some problem with self-confidence. We will talk about it tonight at the meeting and there is enough time tomorrow to prepare for the semi final,” stated HEISTER.

GV Hennebont TT - 1 FC Saarbrücken 2:3

Cedric NUYTINCK – Patrick FRANZISKA 3:1 (11:9, 6:11, 11:9, 11:6)

Omar ASSAR – SHANG Kun 3:0 (11:8, 12:10, 11:5)

Anders LIND – Darko JORGIC 2:3 (12:14, 11:5, 13:15, 12:10, 3:6)

Cedric NUYTINCK – SHANG Kun 2:3 (11:6, 11:6, 6:11, 6:11, 4:6)

Omar ASSAR – Patrick FRANZISKA 2:3 (12:14, 9:11, 11:7, 11:9, 4:6)

From the beginning of the match Cedric NUYTINCK took the control. Patrick FRANZISKA managed the win second game, but it was Belgium's player who dominated most part of the match. Omar ASSAR stayed at the same path. SHANG Kun failed to find the answer to his game.

In fantastic match, with breathtaking rallies Darko JORGIC saved the encounter from the quick end. He overcame Anders LIND in great, at the edge of the knife duel full of outstanding exchanges.

On his second exit to the table SHANG Kun was stretched to full distance. He recovered from two games to null to win the match.

Fantastic recoveries was the name of the game this evening. Through ups and downs Patrick FRANZISKA triumphed over Omar ASSAR.

“I am lost now. It was incredible match. In the three opening duels Hennebont played top class match. They delivered fantastic game. They were just better than us. However in the third match Darko showed that he is a top class player now. He took all the pressure after club was 2:0 down and played fantastic. That was the turning point. When I saw that SHANG Kun is fighting and coming back from 0:2 down... we were in fire. My last match was also difficult. I never had beat Omar before,” explained FRANZISKA.

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