In the second leg final of the Table Tennis Champions League Men (TTCLM), Borussia Dusseldorf is a guest of TTC Fakel Gazprom on Friday afternoon. There, the German record champion around Timo Boll has good chances to win the title after the 3-2 win in the first leg, but travels to Russia with a lot of respect.
The memory is still fresh. "Three years ago we flew to Russia with a 3-1 win at home and came back empty-handed. We do not want to experience that again," warns Danny Heister, head coach of Borussia Düsseldorf. The Dutchman knows only too well how deceptive a victory in the first leg can be. On Tuesday, Heister and his team headed to Russia for the second leg final of the Table Tennis Champions League Men (TTCLM), where Düsseldorf will be a guest of TTC Fakel Gazprom on Friday at 3 pm – this time with a narrower lead than three years ago.
Timo Boll's team won last Sunday's first leg 3-2 thanks to two points of their number one in the ARAG CenterCourt. The games ratio of 12-8 too speaks for the Germans before the second duel with the Russian defending champion. Nevertheless, manager Andreas Preuß warns against too much euphoria. "I am optimistic, the table is set, but we are still far from the goal."
How far exactly, will also depend on Dimitrij Ovtcharov, who in the first leg was just a shadow of himself, as he said himself afterwards. Against his friend and national team mate Boll, with whom he became runner-up at the World Championships in Sweden lately, the world's number two won only one game, in the decisive singles against Kristian Karlsson even none. Too big was the training deficit after his injury to the thigh neck.
However, Orenburg is not completely dependent on Ovtcharov. Behind 'Dima' there's the Olympic bronze medalist Jun Mizutani from Japan and the living table tennis legend Vladimir Samsonov from Belarus, after all. The latter for example clearly beat Düsseldorf's Anton Källberg in the first leg. "I expect a completely open match, because Orenburg has always been incredibly strong at home in the past, so I assume that they will increase once again," said Preuß - who will surely hope, just like coach Heister, that this will not happen again.
The match is broadcast live on LAOLA1.tv.
The final at a glance
Sunday, May 13, 1 pm
Borussia Düsseldorf – TTC Fakel Gazprom 3-2 (12:8 games)
Friday, May 18, 3 pm
TTC Fakel Gazprom – Borussia Düsseldorf
Header photo: MaJo-Foto