(by Steve Hopkins)
TTF Liebherr Ochsenhausen topped ASV Grunwettersbach in a match with standing implications for both squads.
For ASV, the loss caused them to move down to 11th in the TTBL Standings, a precarious position because the 11th and 12th finishing teams are relegated down to a lower division at the end of the season. The win was as significant for Ochsenhausen because they moved from a tie for 6th up to 4th with the win – and only the top four teams will compete and the end of the year for the league title.
Unfortunately for ASV today, Deni Kozul had to withdraw at the last minute with an injury. This resulted in a forfeit in their first singles match – a match where Ochsenhausen’s Simon Gauzy was favored. The second match was between ASV’s Xi Wang and Ochsenhausen’s Can Akkuzu. Akkuzu was filling in for Kanak Jha, who sat out today. Xi Wang won the match 3-2.
Ochsenhausen’s Samuel Kulczycki upset Tobias Rasmussen 3-2 to give Ochsenhausen a 2-1 lead. Gauzy then defeated Xi Wang 3-1 to give Ochsenhausen the victory.
Action continues on Sunday with several scheduled matches. 14-1 Dusseldorf will face seventh place Neu Ulm, second place Saarbrucken will face fifth place Fulda, and third place Muhlhausen will face sixth place Bergneustadt. None of the top three squads risk changing their positions, but each of these matches could have an effect on fourth place – and on Ochsenhausen (currently in fourth place). That is, if Fulda upsets Saarbrucken, then Fulda would move up to Fourth place ahead of Ochsenhausen, and if either Neu Ulm or Bergneustadt pull off an upset their record would tie Ochsenhausen (and fourth place would be determined by tie breakers). But if all three matches on Sunday progress by ranking, then Ochsenhausen will have jumped over two teams to secure the important fourth position.
The schedule for the last six weeks favors Ochsenhausen. Next up for Ochsenhausen is Bergneustadt, then Grenzau, Neu Ulm, Homburg, Bad Konigshofen, and they finish the season against Bremen. By current ranking, Ochsenhausen is favored against all of these squads. This should put them in great position to make a run to close out the season. *The team immediately ahead of Ochsenhausen in the standings, Muhlhausen (No. 3), must still play No. 1 Dusseldorf, No. 2 Saarbrucken, and No. 5 Fulda before the season ends. Ochsenhausen must make up two matches to overtake third place. Stay tuned in to follow the final six weeks.
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