Next Saturday the 2017/18 season of the Tischtennis Bundesliga (TTBL) is officially coming to an end, which is why it is time to look back. Who surprised, who disappointed? In two parts, we look back on the past season and end with the upper half of the table.

Omar Assar

Up-and-down season: Omar Assar (Photo: BeLa Sportfoto)

SV Werder Bremen (5th)

First half top, second half flop – that describes the season of SV Werder Bremen best. In a great first half of the season, the North Germans around new signing Omar Assar were ranking second for a long time and in the second half started with two more victories. From then on, however, the team of coach Cristian Tamas suddenly did not succeed much. The narrow 2-3 defeat against Bergneustadt on matchday 12 was the prelude to a raven-black series, which was interrupted only by the 3-1 home win against Mühlhausen. And so six wins in the first half were followed by only three victories in the second half, which at the of the season meant: trailed behind in fifth place instead of the hoped for play-off participation. And so Bremen are still waiting for this in vain since 2013.

1. FC Saarbrücken TT (4th)

The Saarlanders experienced a completely different course of the season, and, despite four wins at the start, only found themselves raking sixth after the first half. However, Patrick Franziska and Co. then startet a series of four wins in a row and were suddenly back on track. On top, the team of coach Slobodan Grujic returned from Neu-Ulm as runner-up in the cup at the beginning of January. The fact that things got tight again in the end was due to the difficlt rest program against all teams from the upper half of the table. But a contested away win in Mühlhausen and a clear home win against Bremen brought Saarbrücken the ninth play-off participation in a row, where they were beaten by the eventual champion Düsseldorf.

TTF Liebherr Ochsenhausen (3rd)

Ochsenhausen's season began with a major false start. After three partly clear opening defeats, the young team of coach Dubravko Skoric was suddenly ranked in the third part of the table. Just in time, Ochsenhausen was able to turn things around and work their way up to a play-off spot with four wins in a row – but promptly lost that one again. But the finish, however, was impressive: Of the last five matches of the season, only one was lost and Simon Gauzy and Co. even managed to jump to third place on matchday 18 to prevent a clash with Düsseldorf in the play-offs. In the semi-final against Fulda, Ochsenhausen dominated and moved to the final with two impressive 3-1 victories. The title, however, was not granted to Ochsenhausen. Not yet.

TTC RhönSprudel Fulda-Maberzell (2nd)

Even if it did not look like it all the time – at the end Fulda moved into the play-offs in an extremely confident manner. This was mainly due to a sensational second half of the season and a very impressive series. The start of this was the acclaimed 3-2 home win on matchday 12, when long-time rival and bogey opponent Düsseldorf had traveled to Fulda in full squad and was defeated anyway. From then on, the team of coach Qing Yu Meng ran like clockwork. In the end, Fulda were only two points short of leader Düsseldorf. Unfortunately, however, the winning streak ended just in the play-offs. Ruwen Filus and Co. lost to Ochsenhausen 1-3 twice and Fulda missed the targeted Liebherr TTBL-Finale.

Borussia Düsseldorf (1st)

For the third time in the club's history, the 'title hamster' from the Rhine played the perfect season in 2017/18 and won the triple consisting of the German Cup, the German Team Championship and the Champions League title. In the league, the team around Timo Boll has been the measure of all things anyway and was ranked first uninterruptedly from the second matchday onwards. There were still three flaws, including the sensational 2-3 home defeat against newcomer Bad Königshofen and a loss to Fulda and Saarbrücken each. But whenever it mattered, Düsseldorf was there. So also in the Liebherr TTBL-Final, in which the team of coach Danny Heister was able defeat their currently toughest opponent Ochsenhausen 3-1 – thanks to a phenomenal Timo Boll (see video).

To the first part of the review.

Header photo: BeLa Sportfoto