(Courtesy of ButterflyMAG)
Germany Are Crowned Champions Of Europe For The 7th Time!
After defeat in two consecutive European Team Championship Finals, Germany avenged their shock loss to Portugal 3 years ago in dominant fashion. Defeating the 2014 champions 3-0 in a tense final.
The 3-0 score line doesn’t reflect the competitiveness of the match however, this was especially true of the opening game between Timo Boll and Marcos Freitas. The Portuguese number one took the first set 9:11 but Boll bounced back straight away levelling the score by taking the second 11-7. The atmosphere really started to heat up in the third set with Freitas winning 15-13 only to have Boll bring the scores to parity once again winning the fourth set with relative ease 11-5.
This created a nail biting fifth set showdown between Europe’s number 2 and 4 ranked players. At the start of the fifth the German managed to maintain a small lead before Freitas levelled it to 7-7 and then went on to create 3 match points for himself. However, it wasn’t to be this time for Freitas as the German maestro won the next 5 consecutive points to take the match 3-0. (9:11, 11:7, 13:15, 11:5, 12:10).
Timo Boll had this to say after the match:
“Marcos and I know each other very well. At the World Championships we also played a very close game, so I spent a lot of time preparing for this match. He is also very intelligent, it is very challenging to play against him. He forces you to play at the highest level all time”
Next up it was the German and European number 1 Dimitrij Ovtcharov’s turn to impress against Portuguese star Tiago Apolonia and impress he did, winning a fairly one-sided match 3-0 (11:6, 11:7, 11:9). The game, although not very competitive score wise, did heat up in the first/second sets with an umpire controversy after Apolonia was faulted twice for illegal serves. This did not seem to have much of a bearing on the match itself however, with Tiago managing to still play some good table tennis but in the end the German powerhouse proved slightly too strong.
The third, and what turned out to be the final game in the fixture was a slightly closer affair between Germany’s Patrick Franziska and Portugal’s Joao Monteiro. The Portuguese number three managed to win a close first set 10:12 before the youngest player in the fixture (25) Franziska eventually overpowered his opponent winning the next three sets quite comfortably (10:12, 11:6, 11:9, 11:5).
Joao Monteiro summed up Portugal’s overall tournament performance by saying: “We won five matches in the row. It is hard when you lost the final, but generally we had a good tournament here.”
Full Match Scores:
Timo Boll – Marcos Freitas 3:2 (9:11, 11:7, 13:15, 11:5, 12:10)
Dimitrij Ovtcharov – Tiago Apolonia 3:0 (11:6, 11:7, 11:9)
Patrick Franziska – Joao Monteiro 3:0 (10:12, 11:6, 11:9, 11:5).
For full article, please click here