(by Steve Hopkins)
Ochsenhausen had a tough time with a young Bad Homburg squad, but Ochsenhausen won in the Doubles stage to secure a 3-2 win. Ochsenhausen played today with two young players, Sam Kulczycki and Can Akkuzu played singles along with veteran Gauzy (and Maciej Kubik, their youngest player also played doubles). But Bad Homburg’s team with Sipos (age 21), Meissner (age 21), and Oehme (age 20) is the youngest full squad in the TTBL. Unfortunately for Homburg, they are also in last place.
Still, at least for a day, Homburg showed great promise, logging two upsets on their way to a 2-3 loss against Top 4 Ochsenhausen. In the opening match, Akkuzu scored a 3-2 win for Ochsenhausen. In the second match, Gauzy dominated Cedric Meissner 3-0, giving Ochsenhausen a 2-0 lead. Momentum shifted after that, however. Benno Oehme upset Sam Kulczycki 3-2 to put Homburgh on the board. Rares Sipos then upset Simon Gauzy 3-2, sending the event to a deciding doubles match.
The doubles team of Sam Kulczycki and Maciej Kubik has been very successful for Ochsenhausen all season – as the two Polish teammates play well together. However, today, the very young German pairing of Oehme and Meissner pushed them to their limits. Homburg won the first game 11-7. Ochsenhausen won two tight games 17-15 and 12-10. Homburg then tied the score with an 11-7 win. Final game went to Ochsenhausen (11-6) and that gave Ochsenhausen the overall 3-2 match victory. Ochsenhausen and Fulda continue to be tied for fourth place – so 10-7 Ochsenhausen is current 2 points ahead in the standings, but Fulda is behind a match due to a cancellation (so if they win that make-up match on the 18th against this same Bad Homburg squad) both teams could again have the same record.
Saarbrucken was heavily favored in their match yesterday against Bad Konigshofen, but the combination of resting their top player, Patrick Franziska, and an upset where their second best player (Jorgic) lost did them in. Konigshofen led off with Filip Zeljko, a Croatian player ranked in the mid 400s and he pulled out a tight win over Manav Vikash Thakkar, a rising Indian player ranked just over 100. Zeljko jumped out to a 2 game lead, Thakkar tied the score 2-2, and Zeljko won the final game 12-10 for the upset. Polansky then topped Grebnev to even the match 1-1. Kilian Ort then upset Darko Jorgic in dominating fashion, winning 3-0 (with the final two games at 11-5 and 11-5). Polansky then won his second match for Saarbrucken, topping Zeljko 3-0. That sent the match to doubles, but the team of Thakkar/Jorgic for Saarbrucken was beaten by Ort/Grebnev 3-0. Upset win for Bad Konigshofen, keeping them in the first for fourth place (they are currently 2 games behind (with four matches left).
Tomorrow’s action includes all five of the top contenders: Dusseldorf, Ochsenhausen, Saarbrucken, Muhlhausen, and Fulda.
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