TTCLM: Three German clubs enter quarter-finalsPhoto: Courtesy Christian HABEL / Post SV Mühlhausen
2019/20 Table Tennis Champions League Men, quarter-finals, leg 1 (January 15-17)
First games of 2019/20 TTCLM will be held from Wednesday to Friday, January 15-17, with three German teams involved, two from Russia and one from Denmark, Poland and France: Roskilde Bordtennis BTK61 - Borussia Düsseldorf (Jan 15, 18:30 CET), Post SV Mühlhausen 1951 e.V. - FC Saarbrücken TT (Jan 15, 19:30), GV Hennebont TT - Fakel Gazprom Orenburg (Jan 16, 20:00), KS Dartom Bogoria Grodzisk Mazowiecki - TTSC UMMC (Jan 17, 18:30).
All-German clash will decide one semi-finalist, as 2018/2019 quarter-finalist Post SV Muhlhausen (no. 5 seed) faces 2011/12 TTCLM semi-finalist FC Saarbrucken TT (no. 3). Muhlahsen’s player Lubomir JANCARIK promises big fight:
„Saarbrücken has a strong team, but first match we are playing home with our fans, so they should be ready for a big fight. “
His teammate Ovidiu IONESCU agrees that his side has special motivation in front of its fans:
„After the shape we showed in the last month, I believe we can produce the surprise and defeat Saarbrücken. At home, together with our supporters we are a very strong team.“
The 2017/18 TTCLM quarter-finalist, Roskilde Bordtennis BTK 61 (Denmark, no. 4) challenges TTCLM record holder, 11-times winner Borussia Dusseldorf (Germany, no. 2). Roskilde’s sport director Allan BENTSEN explaines:
„We look forward to welcome Düsseldorf in Roskilde. They are of course big favorites, especially when we did not make 3 matches with PITCHFORD, but we will do our best and are happy to start in Roskilde. After a hard start for TOKIC, have he played good in last matches and if all 3 players can perform in same match, we hope to make a result.”
Borussia’s coach Danny HEISTER emphasizes that his team is going to play in its best line-up:
"We are happy that the knock out stage will start now. Roskilde versus Düsseldorf is an interesting duel and we hope that we will win it. The Danish team has got strong players but one of them is missing in this part of the season, Liam PITCHFORD. This is unhappy for Roskilde. But we know about the strength of ZHAI Yujia, Michael MAZE and Bojan TOKIC so we will be focused and well prepared for the match in Roskilde. We will play with our best line-up."
Anton KÄLLBERG is looking forward playing in Denmark, reaching good shape in last few matches:
"We had a big disappointment at the beginning of this year when we lost in the semis of German Cup. But we had a perfect reaction and won both League matches of TTBL last Friday and Sunday against the Cup Champion Grünwettersbach and Bremen. So, I think our team is in a good shape. I played very well and I feel very confident at the moment. So, we are looking forward to the games against Roskilde."
Defending champion and five-time winner Fakel-Gazprom Orenburg (Russia, no. 1 seed) is going to play against former quarter-finalist, GV Hennebont TT (France, no. 8). Fakel-Gazprom vice-president Victor ANDREEV stated that his team is determined to win first away leg:
"There are no weak matches in the play-offs of the European Champions League. TTC Fakel-Gazprom - the current European champion aims only to win. Our team is waiting for interesting and exciting matches. Of course, all our players carefully prepare for the upcoming QF1 and ready to please their spectators. We hope for a good fight."
Former quarter-finalist Bogoria Grodzisk Mazowiecki (Poland, no. 7) hosts actual TTCLM runner-up UMMC (Russia, no. 6) in the latest quarter-final clash scheduled for January 17th.
2019/20 TTCLM quarter-finals, leg 1
Roskilde Bordtennis BTK61 - Borussia Düsseldorf (Jan 15, 18:30 CET)
Post SV Mühlhausen 1951 e.V. - FC Saarbrücken TT (Jan 15, 19:30 CET)
GV Hennebont TT - Fakel Gazprom Orenburg (Jan 16, 20:00 CET)
KS Dartom Bogoria Grodzisk Mazowiecki - TTSC UMMC (Jan 17, 18:30 CET)