BOLL LEADS DÜSSELDORF TO TITLE



Borussia Düsseldorf beat TTF Liebherr Ochsenhausen 3-1 in the Liebherr TTBL-Finale 2018 and thus won the German Team Championship, too, after winning the Cup and the Champions League. For the serial champion from the Rhineland, this is the fifth championship title in a row and the 30th in the club's history. The decision in the Fraport Arena Frankfurt is made by a phenomenal Timo Boll.

Timo Boll

Unbeatable once again: Timo Boll (Photo: BeLa Sportfoto)

Borussia Düsseldorf has become German team champion once again. The team around superstar Timo Boll beat TTF Liebherr Ochsenhausen 3-1 in the Liebherr TTBL-Finale 2018 on Saturday afternoon. Thus, the German record champions won the triple consisting of the German Cup, the Champions League and the German championship for the third time in the club's history. "We already had the cake, now the cherry should be put on top today. I'm just proud of the whole team, that this worked out," said Borussia's coach Danny Heister.

However, the final in front of 2,700 spectators in the Fraport Arena Frankfurt had started with a lead for the challengers. With his 3-1 win against Stefan Fegerl, Hugo Calderano put the defending champion under pressure. But Boll proved afterwards that he can handle such situations well. The Frenchman Simon Gauzy - not exactly the favorite opponent of the 37-year-old German - was given no chance by Boll. "Normally, Simon always gets into the game better than me, today it was the other way around," said the world ranking third. "All in all, I had the feeling that it will be at least as hard against Ochsenhausen as it was against Orenburg."

Kristian Karlsson, who suddenly was down 0-2 against Joao Geraldo, could have had the same impression as Boll, but managed to turn the tables. "That was perhaps the key match today," said Heister. "Kristian was incredibly nervous and hectic, but got a great grip on it and cleared the way for Timo, who of course made a huge match."

Calderano fights back

Hugo Calderano

Played a strong final: Hugo Calderano (Photo: BeLa Sportfoto)

However, a "huge match" was also delivered by Calderano again, who gave his best to prevent the defeat. Twice, the Portuguese forced Düsseldorf's number one into the game extension, in the third round, he even managed to save eight match points before Boll was able to make it 19-17 - and then was visibly relieved. "Even though they were both 3-0 matches, the littles things decided in the end. I do not know if we've ever had a stronger opponent than Ochsenhausen on national level."

And so TTF president Kristijan Pejinovic's disappointment was not that huge condidering the narrow defeat of his team: "It still feels good to finally be back in Frankfurt. The guys can really be proud of this second place. For them it was the first final in this constellation. I have to congratulate Düsseldorf on a strong performance. Today, the Timo Boll factor was decisive." Gauzy, who was significantly more disappointed than his president, also saw that: "Timo was just very, very strong today. That made it extremely difficult for us. Düsseldorf is simply the best team in Europe." And now even one that is decorated with the triple.

Stehle: "Teams showed world-class table tennis"

Nico Stehle, managing director of the Tischtennis Bundesliga (TTBL), offered a positive conclusion of the event: "We are proud to have two top European teams in the league, that have shown world-class table tennis today. We are still very satisfied with the location and this great arena and can only thank our partners and of course the spectators."

The final at a glance

TTF Liebherr Ochsenhausen – Borussia Düsseldorf 1-3
Hugo Calderano – Stefan Fegerl 3-1 (10-12, 11-8, 11-8, 11-7)
Simon Gauzy – Timo Boll 0-3 (7-11, 6-11, 7-11)
Joao Geraldo – Kristian Karlsson 2-3 (11-8, 11-8, 1-11, 4-11, 6-11)
Hugo Calderano – Timo Boll 0-3 (6-11, 13-15, 17-19)

Header photo: BeLa Sportfoto