(by Steve Hopkins)
In recent years, U.S. fans have followed Borussia Dusseldorf (with Timo Boll), and over the last year many have also been following Liebherr Ochsenhausen (who have added USA’s Kanak Jha to their talented roster). A few weeks ago these two teams each advanced to the Final of the German Cup – where Dusseldorf won 3-1.
With the second half of the season under way, the teams have gone in very different directions. Timo Boll’s Borussia Dusseldorf team is dominating – winning all three matches they’ve played in 2021 ( most recently a 3-0 win over over Werder Bremen extending their points lead to 6 points over second place Saarbrucken) . Ochsenhausen has fallen in the opposite extreme, losing 3-2 to Muhlhausen on the 13th, and being dominated by Saarbrucken 3-0 today. Ochsenhausen was in second place alone, but has now been caught by the pack as five teams are effectively tied for second place with 16 points each (when figuring the head to head tie breakers, Ochsenhausen is in third overall).
The top three Ochsenhausen players all competed against Muhlhausen, but they fell anyway. Despite being underdogs in all four singles matches, Mulhausen split the matches (with Habesohn topping Jha 3-0 and Ionescu topping Gauzy as their two wins). After Calderano and Gauzy scored singles wins for Ochsenhausen, the match was decided in doubles – with Ionescu and Jancarik topping Calderano and Kulczycki.
Kanak Jha anchored the Ochsenhausen team in their match against Saarbrucken – as both Gauzy and Calderano had the day off. Saarbrucken’s top three of Darko Jorgic, Kun Shang, and Patrick Franziska each won giving them a quick 3-0 win.
The season is in full swing right now – Ochsenhausen plays Muhlhausen again this Sunday (January 17). Dusseldorf now has Bad Konigshofen scheduled on Sunday and then Muhlhausen next Tuesday.