by Ian Marshall
Success but after the first two matches prospects looked bleak. Cédric Nuytinck beat Patrick Franziska (11-9, 6-11, 11-9, 11-6), Omar Assar accounted for Shang Kun (11-8, 12-10, 11-5) to give GV Hennebont a two-nil lead.
It was at that stage, Darko Jorgic started the recovery for the reigning German Bundesliga champions. In a full distance duel, he accounted for Anders Lund (14-12, 5-11, 15-13, 10-12, 6-3); a ray of hope but then it seemed the light would be extinguished.
In the immediately ensuing match, Shang Kun lost the first two games against Cédric Nuytinck; he struggled to return the reverse service style and powerful forehand of the Belgian. Gradually, he adjusted and as the match progressed it was Shang Kun who was the master of service and first ball attack.
Eventually, Shang Kun prevailed in five games (6-11, 6-11, 11-6, 11-6, 6-4).
A recovery by Shang Kun, for Patrick Franziska it was the very opposite; in the concluding match of the fixture, he withstood a brave fightback by Omar Assar to seal victory (14-12, 11-9, 7-11, 9-11, 6-4).
Such was the delight of Shang Kun that he ran into the court, totally forgot social distancing, and leapt into the arms of Patrick Franziska.
Success for 1.FC Saarbrücken as status predicted, it was the same for the remaining outfits that completed the top four seeded places.
Represented by Marcos Freitas, Vladimir Samsonov and Dimitrij Ovtcharov, Fakel-Gazprom Orenburg recorded a 3-0 win against Roskilde On-Board Tennis BTK 61, who selected Michael Maze, Jens Lundquist and Allan Bentsen.
In a similar manner Borussia Düsseldorf with Timo Boll, Anton Källberg and Kristian Karlsson on duty ended the hopes of Sporting Clube de Portugal who fielded Bode Abiodun, Diogo Carvalho and Thiago Monteiro, the one win for the Portuguese outfit being secured by Thiago Monteiro, in the third match of the fixture, he overcame Kristian Karlsson (11-4, 11-8, 4-11, 7-11, 6-4).
Just one match surrendered, it was the same for the TTSC “UMMC” trio of Liam Pitchford, Jonathan Groth and Tomislav Pucar against the KS Dartom Bogoria Grodzisk Mazowiecki outfit comprising Pavel Sirucek, Marek Badowski and Milosz Redzimski. In the opening match of the fixture, Pavel Sirucek beat Liam Pitchford (11-6, 13-11, 6-11, 12-10) but that was the total of success for the Polish outfit.
At the semi-final stage, 1. FC Saarbrücken meet Fakel-Gazprom Orenburg, the top seeds, TTSC “UMMC” oppose Borussia Düsseldorf. The matches will be played on Thursday 17th December.
Tuesday 15th December
FAKEL-GAZPROM ORENBURG (RUS) 3-0 ROSKILDE ON-BOARD TENNIS BTK 61 (DEN)
Marcos Freitas – Michael Maze (11:8, 10:12, 13:11, 9:11, 6:4)
Vladimir SAMSONOV – Jens Lundquist 3-0 (11:6, 11:9, 19:17)
Dimitrij Ovtcharov v Alan Bentsen (11:4, 11:6, 11:3)
BORUSSIA DUSSELDORF (GER) 3-0 SPORTING CLUBE DE PORTUGAL (POR)
Timo BOLL v Bode Abiodun 10-12, 11-4, 17-15, 11-7
Anton Källberg v Diogo Carvalho 11-7, 11-4, 11-8
Kristian Karlsson v Thiago Monteiro 4-11, 8-11, 11-4, 11-7, 4-6
Timo Boll v Diogo Carvalho 11-7, 12-10, 11-6)
TTSC “UMMC” (RUS) 3-1 KS DARTOM BOGORIA GRODZISK MAZOWIECKI (POL)
Liam Pitchford v Pavel Sirucek 6-11, 11-13, 11-6, 10-12
Jonathan Groth v Marek Badowski 11-7, 11-2, 9-11, 11-7
Tomislav Pucar v Milosz Redzimski 8-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-6
Liam Pitchford v Marek Badowski 11-6, 11-8, 5-11, 11-9
1.FC SAARBRÜCKEN TT (GER) 3-2 GV HENNEBONT TT (FRA)
Cédric Nuytinck v Patrick Franziska 11-9, 6-11, 11-9, 11-6
Omar Assar v Shang Kun 11-8, 12-10, 11-5
Anders Lind v Darko Jorgic 12-14, 11-5, 13-15, 12-10, 3-6
Cédric Nuytinck v Shang Kun 11-6, 11-6, 6-11, 6-11, 4-6
Omar Assar v Patrick Franziska 12-14, 9-11, 11-7, 11-9, 4-6
Thursday 17th December
17.00 TTSC “UMMC” (RUS) V BORUSSIA DÜSSELDORF (GER)
20.30 FAKEL-GAZPROM ORENBURG (RUS) V 1. FC SAARBRÜCKEN TT (GER)