Member Associations | 29 Jun 2024

Clash of the Titans in the LIEBHERR TTBL Final: Düsseldorf and Saarbrücken Aim for the Championship

The Table Tennis Bundesliga (TTBL) is ready for the showdown: Borussia Düsseldorf and 1. FC Saarbrücken TT will face off in the LIEBHERR TTBL Final on June 30, promising another world-class duel. Fans can expect an almost sold-out Süwag Energie ARENA Frankfurt for the German Championship decider.

For the fourth consecutive year, Borussia Düsseldorf and 1. FC Saarbrücken TT will battle for the German Championship in the TTBL Final. This will be the fifth major final between these two teams in a row across seasons and competitions. Despite this, it's hard to pick a favorite ahead of the duel. Both teams promise top-level sport. German Olympians Timo BOLL and Dang QIU (both Düsseldorf) will be there, as will WTT Grand Smash finalist Patrick FRANZISKA and Europe Top-16 winner Darko JORGIC (both Saarbrücken).

Saarbrücken seems to have a slight edge before the rematch. After Borussia won the last three TTBL finals (3:1, 3:2, 3:1), FCS is considered a slight favorite this year. That's what Andreas PREUSS believes:

"I see Saarbrücken as stronger this season than in previous years," says the Borussia manager, pointing to JORGIC'S progress, FRANZISKA'S consistency, Yuto MURAMATSU'S transfer, and FCS's squad depth. "Saarbrücken has clearly been the better team this season.”

A look at the regular season of the Table Tennis Bundesliga (TTBL) supports this assessment: Saarbrücken secured the top spot with a significant lead over Düsseldorf – 34:6 points compared to 26:14 – and won both home and away matches 3:2. More significantly, they triumphed in the Champions League final. Saarbrücken won 3:2 against Düsseldorf on Easter Monday, defending their TTCLM title. However, the LIEBHERR Cup final in January went 3:0 to Düsseldorf.

"I don't think you can infer what will happen in the Liebherr TTBL Final in Frankfurt from these two finals," says FCS team manager Nicolas BARRIOS about the recent duels between the two teams. If Saarbrücken lifts the trophy on June 30, it will be their second German Championship title after 2020. Düsseldorf has already celebrated the championship 33 times. "It's a completely new game under completely new conditions, especially since lineups are always a particular factor.”

A special focus on June 30 will be on Timo BOLL. With the announcement of his retirement – internationally after the Olympics, nationally after the 2024/25 season – the 43-year-old table tennis legend recently made headlines worldwide. Now he may play his last Liebherr TTBL Final.

Therefore, it is a "special final," says PREUSS: "I'm starting to enjoy every appearance, every game from him. Since it's not certain we'll reach a final again next year, Frankfurt is special because it might be his last final for and with us. This, of course, triggers special emotions, the team knows that, Timo knows that, and everyone will give their all."