Terrific FREITAS opens the gap
Reigning MECL champion, AS Pontoise Cergy defeated Borussia Dusseldorf 3:1 in the first quarter final leg, held in France. Ten-time European champion will be faced with a big challenge in the returning game, on January 23rd. In opening encounter Marcos FR
Reigning MECL champion, AS Pontoise Cergy defeated Borussia Dusseldorf 3:1 in the first quarter final leg, held in France. Ten-time European champion will be faced with a big challenge in the returning game, on January 23rd.
In opening encounter Marcos FREITAS beat Panagiotis GIONIS in four games. First two sets were close, while Portuguese dominated in the next two.
When WANG Jian Jun overcame Timo BOLL in second game, reigning MECL champion had very comfortable situation. Chinese made a key step in the last, fourth set, when he sent two unstoppable serves in a row, collecting four consecutive points in total (5:3, 9:3). They met many times in MECL and German had more success, like in 2008/09 semis and in 2009/10 final (both times Borussia beat Charleroi). Tonight BOLL missed two set balls in the third set and it was one of two crucial moments in this clash.
Indian Sharat Kamal ACHANTA beat Kristian KARLSSON in five games of third match, thus Borussia got a new hope to provide good result before returning leg in Dusseldorf (January 23rd, 19h00 CET). Swede had 2:1 (9:8) advantage, but guest managed to level. In the latest set ACHANTA `s decisive run came after 4:4 when he got four points in a row.
Two world`s Top 10 players and two left-handers met in the fourth match, Marcos FREITAS (no. 10) against Timo BOLL (no. 9). It was remake of the decisive clash at 2014 Team`s European Championships in Lisbon, when FREITAS overcame BOLL to provide the gold medal for Portugal over Germany. As in that game, Portuguese needed four sets to defeat great German. Third set was most exciting one. Guest managed to save four set balls, but host ended this chapter after long and thrilling rally.
FREITAS made an impressive feat in the fourth set, concluding the match by six consecutive points (5:8, 11:8).
MECL quarter final, leg1
AS Pontoise Cergy – Borussia Dusseldorf 3:1
Marcos FREITAS – Panagiotis GIONIS 3:1 (11:8, 7:11, 11:4, 11:3)
WANG Jian Jun – Timo BOLL 3:1 (4:11, 11:7, 13:11, 11:8)
Kristian KARLSSON – Sharat Kamal ACHANTA 2:3 (10:12, 11:7, 11:4, 9:11, 7:11)
Marcos FREITAS – Timo BOLL 3:1 (11:8, 8:11, 13:11, 11:8).