15 May 2018

The 1st leg of the 2016-2017 Men’s Champions League final handed TTC Fakel-Gazprom Orenburg’s title aspirations a major boost as the Russian giants came away with a massive 3-0 win in Düsseldorf, a result which ultimately set them on their way to lifting the trophy for a fourth occasion.

by Simon Daish

One year on and the opening tie of the 2017-2018 final was once again played out in Germany but this time around Borussia Düsseldorf has managed to take a slight lead into the 2nd leg following a 3-2 victory for the hosts on Sunday 13th May.

Timo Boll was the star of the show with the German legend picking up two wins to his name: opening with a four games triumph over fellow compatriot Dimitrij Ovtcharov (11-7, 11-8, 10-12, 11-6) Timo Boll impressed for a second time in the latter stages of the match as he saw off Jun Mizutani (13-11, 11-8, 5-11, 11-3).

Düsseldorf’s third victory came courtesy of Kristian Karlsson who, like his teammate Timo Boll, condemned Dimitrij Ovtcharov to another defeat (11-8, 11-4, 11-8) to hand Düsseldorf a valuable edge heading into the return fixture.

However, all is not lost yet for defending champions Orenburg with victories from Jun Mizutani and Vladimir Samsonov against Kristian Karlsson (11-8, 8-11, 12-10, 9-11, 14-12) and Anton Källberg (11-6, 11-3, 7-11, 11-6) limiting the damage to a 3-2 score-line.

The two sides don’t have long to wait until they meet again: the 2nd leg is scheduled for Friday 18th May.

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