09 Oct 2018

With the 2018-2019 Men’s Champions League set to resume on Wednesday 10th October, we take a look back at how the new season of Europe’s most prestigious club competition got underway with a recap of the action from the opening round of the group stage.

by Simon Daish

The reigning European Champions from Germany, Borussia Düsseldorf began its title defence campaign in fine style with a 3-0 hammering of Sporting Clube de Portugal in Group A.

Opening with a solid display from Omar Assar in his encounter with Diogo Carvalho (11-3, 11-4, 7-11, 13-11), Düsseldorf followed up with victories from Kristian Karlsson and Anton Källberg, who accounted for Quadri Aruna (11-7, 9-11, 12-10, 11-9) and Bode Abiodun (14-12, 11-5, 7-11, 11-4) to seal the win.

Can Akkuzu handed French outfit AS Pontoise-Cergy an early lead against Czech opponents TTC Ostrava 2016, requiring five games to see off Tomas Tregler (11-5, 11-4, 11-13, 11-8, 11-4) before Mattias Falck and Tristan Flore finished the job with victories over Felipe Olivares (11-9, 11-6, 13-11) and Ondrej Bajger (11-9, 11-6, 11-8).

Over in Group D, last season’s silver medallists TTC Fakel-Gazprom Orenburg were made to work hard for their opening round success against Post SV Mühlhausen: new signings Marcos Freitas and Yan An were both pushed right down to the wire against Daniel Habesohn (11-6, 9-11, 11-4, 4-11, 11-3) and Ovidiu Ionescu (15-13, 8-11, 11-5, 8-11, 11-7) while Dimitrij Ovtcharov needed four games to see off Steffen Mengel (10-12, 11-3, 13-11, 11-6) as the Russian Giants earned two group points.

Runners up in 2016, Eslövs AI BTK enjoyed a strong start to the group with young Swedish star Truls Moregard earning impressive results against Fan Shengpeng (11-5, 11-5, 11-9) and Liam Pitchford (11-7, 11-7, 11-9) as the Swedish side prevailed at home to French rivals GV Hennebont by a 3-1 score-line.

K.S. Dartom Bogoria Grodzisk Mazowiecki and FC Saarbrücken sit at the summit of Group C following 3-0 victories over Roskilde Bordtennis BTK61 and Vaillante Sports Angers TT. In Group B the early advantage lies in K.S. Dekorglass Dzialdowo and TTSC UMMC’s favour after the clubs from Poland and Russia stormed past SPG Walter Wels and Stella Sport La Romagne.

More Information

2018-2019 ETTU Champions League Kristian Karlsson Marcos Freitas Truls Moregard