Champions League Women

TTC Berlin eastside clinched fifth title

Photo: Helmut Ploberger (PHOTO PLOHE)

European Champions League Women


TTC Berlin eastside is the crowned champion of the 2020/21 Bosco European Champions League Women. In the Sportpark Lissfeld in Linz in the special bubble edition of the League, TTC Berlin eastside concluded the tournament with the victory over Linz AG Froschberg. It is fifth title for Germany's club, whilst Linz stayed at two. Day earlier French TT Saint-Quentinois and Metz TT played in their first ever ECLW semi final.

German club took the lead with the win in the opening match. At the beginning, Margarita PESOTSKA denied all SHAN Xiaona's chances to settle into the rhythm. She was constantly in attack, changed the pace and kept the opening game under control. Good service game gave SHAN a little breathing space at the beginning of the second game, but not for long. Precise around the edges, PESOTSKA easily recovered and after 2:4 overturn the result. The determination did not leave her when the third game commenced but SHAN's braver performance gave results. Germany's player won third game.

In the fourth game it was SHAN who made the better start, she moved into a seven points to two lead, but PESOTSKA responded. Ukraine's player reduced the arrears to 7:6 and coach Irina PALINA called for time out. It did not change the pace. PESOTSKA leveled and took the lead. SHAN did not give up. She withstood the recovery and won the fourth game by narrow margin. Unlike the opening game, in the decisive set, SHAN was all over the table, aggressive and precise. Sudden death worked in her favor.

At the beginning of the second match between Sofia POLCANOVA and Nina MITTELHAM, we saw the dominance of the Austria's player once again. Without difficulties Sofia won the opening game. Sofia's supremacy melted in the second game. None of the player were able to create a wider gap and advantage went from one side to another. Nina kept close until 9:9, but then POLCANOVA forced her into mistakes. There was no remarkable recovery in this match; Nina won only four points in third game.

Britt EERLAND started the third match in dominant mode. Bernadette SZOCS tried to catch up, but nothing worked in the opening game. In the second, Britt made series of 4:1, SZOCS came close at 4:3, but then Dutch player won three points in the row for 6:3. Once again Bernadette came close at 7:6, and again, Britt fiercely responded and won second game. From 6:3 for Britt to 6:6 and 7:7, 8:8, SZOCS was not giving up, but Britt did not lose her nerve.

Instead of POLCANOVA, in fourth match, LIU Jia entered the game to face SHAN. Experienced Austria's star was precise and lethal. She took the opening game in fast line and denied all SHAN's efforts to settle into the match in next two. In superb style she moved the duel into the decisive match.

On her second exit to the table Margarita PESOTSKA played against Nina MITTELHAM. The experience from this match taught us that we can not predict anything. After she won only four points in opening game, Nina made 7:0 row in next and then she leveled the match. The duel entered the more leveled phase and as it was expected reached the decisive game.

“It is unbelievable, it is even hard for us to believe what happened,” said Berlin's coach Irina PALINA.”It was a little surprise that SZOCS played at the position no. three, instead of LIU Jia. Than, it was surprise than SHAN lost to LIU Jia this way. Usually the game between they two is much closer. But overall the biggest surprise is Nina's win in fifth match. We all know how much is PESOTSKA dangerous, especially in decisive moments. I told Nina to take a risk. She had nothing to lose. It was remarkable win. Her top spin is among the fastest in the World, but in this occasion it was very difficult to use it.”

At the end of the wonderful tournament, hosts could not do anything else but to congratulate to adversaries.

“Our games are always so close, but, again they were better. I can not do anything else but to congratulate them. It was great final, and upmost it was great tournament. We could not watch at the end final points; we all were so much into this game. It is hard now when we lost, but we also enjoyed team spirit; we enjoyed the opportunity to play again,” said LIU Jia.

Linz AG Froschberg AUT - TTC Berlin eastside GER 2:3

Margarita PESOTSKA - SHAN Xiaona 2:3 (11:6, 11:9, 6:11, 12:14, 2:6)

Sofia POLCANOVA - Nina MITTELHAM 3:0 (11:5, 11:9, 11:4)

Bernadette SZOCS - Britt EERLAND 0:3 (6:11, 8:11, 8:11)

LIU Jia - SHAN Xiaona 3:0 (11:2, 11:4, 11:4)

Margarita PESOTSKA - Nina MITTELHAM (11:4, 6:11, 9:11, 11:8, 4:6)