(by Steve Hopkins)
The opening weekend of the 2021/22 German Bundesliga is underway, and most of the strongest teams are off to a solid start. Borussia Dusseldorf scored a 3-1 win over Muhlhausen (Muhlhausen’s Ionescu topped Kristian Karlsson for the one win), Neu-Ulm was too much for Schwalbe Bergneustadt (Tiago Apolonia and Kay Stumper combined for 3 wins between them), and Grunwettersbach topped Homburg 3-2 with Ricardo Walther and Tobias Rasmussen making the difference with their doubles win.
Of interest to American fans, the TTF Liebherr Ochsenhausen team topped TSV Bad Konigshofen 3-2. The Ochsenhausen squad has been one of the perennial leaders in the TTBL, but their top ranked player, Hugo Calderano left at the end of the season. That means that Simon Gauzy is now their top ranked player and Kanak Jha moves up a step to fill their second spot. The other singles spot today was filled by young Polish champion Samuel Kulczycki. The Konigshofen team is led by Bastian Steger and Killian Ort (Ort just finished second in the Budapest Contender Series event).
In the first match, it was Samuel Kulczycki upsetting Steger 3-1 to give Ochsenhausen the early lead. Kanak Jha topped Filip Zeljko 3-1 in the second match to give Ochsenhausen a 2-0 match lead. Konigshofen then evened the match by winning the next two matches: (1) Kilian Ort topped Gauzy in the third match, and (2) Bastian Steger defeated Kanak Jha 3-1. That meant the match would be decided by doubles and Simon Gauzy and Samuel Kulczycki won the Doubles match giving Ochsenhausen the victory. A great start for Ochsenhausen – with Kanak Jha filling a very important singles role (anchoring the team by playing two singles matches) and with the young Polish player scoring two wins (one singles win and one doubles win).
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