(by Steve Hopkins, photo from ITTFWorld),
This final week of January has not been a good week for Liebherr Ochsenhausen. On Wednesday, the team lost its match with SV Werder Bremen and fell to third place in the Bundesliga (behind Borussia Dusseldorf and TTC Neu-Ulm). Today, their top player, Hugo Calderano, has announced he is leaving the team. Calderano, who is the highest ranked player in the entire German League, is under contract for the remainder of the season – so he will remain with the team for the playoff run this Spring. However, he will then leave the squad to focus on the Olympics and other international competitions – and currently has no plans to return to the German League.
The team’s match earlier this week was was tight, but Calderano’s upset loss to Mattias Falck was the difference. Ochsenhausen played Calderano in their No. 1 Singles position (where he would play singles twice), and then Simon Gauzy and Samuel Kulczycki each played one singles match and played doubles together. The Bremen team was outmatched on paper with mattias Falck, Hunor Szocs, and Kirill Gerassimenko (and Marcelo Aguirre as a fourth player just for doubles). Falck easily defeated the 19 year old Kulczycki to give Bremen the lead. Calderano then easily defeated Scocs to even the match. Gauzy then gave Ochsenhausen a 2-1 lead with a tight 3-2 win over Gerassimenko. However, Mattias Falck dominated Calderano in an upset win 3-0 to even the score and force a doubles match. In doubles, the Bremen team of Aguirre and Szocs defeated the Ochsenhausen team of Gauzy and Kulczycki. A tight loss – but an important loss as Ochsenhausen now falls to third in the standings.