(by Steve Hopkins)
Borussia Dusseldorf hosted TTC Neu-Ulm today in a battle of undefeated teams. TTBL No. 1 Dusseldorf dominated No. 2 Neu-Ulm throughout. Anton Kallberg started things off for the Butterfly-sponsored team beating young Russian Vladimir Sidorenko 3-0. Next up was Kristian Karlsson who fell behind 0-1 to 2020 Russian champion Lev Katsman. The players traded games until the fifth where Karlsson pulled ahead early and then raced to a 11-4 win. Borussia Dusseldorf played without Timo Boll today, but the very talented squad has Dang Qiu in reserve, World No. 53.
Qiu played the third match for Dusseldorf against Sgouropoulos of Greece. The Greek won the first game 11-9, and was up for nearly all of the second game – but Qiu tied the second game near the end and then pulled out a close win. Sgouropoulos again led the entire third game – this time sealing the victory with strong shots. Qiu led the whole fourth game, and won easily 11-7. The final game was close, but when Qiu gained a two point lead and 6-4, he never faltered. He maintained the small lead to 8-6 and then closed out the match with an 11-6 win.
After winning the TTBL and the European Championship, Borussia Dusseldorf appears to have reloaded and come back stronger. They just sat out their highest ranked player, and dominated the second place Neu Ulm squad 3-0 anyway. This looks like another great year for Dusseldorf.
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