Interview with Kristijan Pejinovic (TTF Liebherr Ochsenhausen): "A local hero is important for the Liebherr Cup Final Four"


Interview with Kristijan Pejinovic (TTF Liebherr Ochsenhausen): "A local hero is important for the Liebherr Cup Final Four"

Interview with Kristijan Pejinovic (TTF Liebherr Ochsenhausen): "A local hero is important for the Liebherr Cup Final Four"

As has often been the case in recent years, TTF Liebherr Ochsenhausen will once again guarantee both top level and local color at the Liebherr Cup Final Four on January 7 in the ratiopharm arena Ulm/Neu-Ulm. In an interview ahead of the first highlight event, TTF President Kristijan Pejinovic talks about how the Upper Swabians see themselves and their ambitions.

Your TTF Liebherr Ochsenhausen played for the last time just over a week before Christmas and therefore had the longest break of all the participants before the Final Four. Is that an advantage or a disadvantage in terms of preparation?

That always depends on the squad. On the one hand, it's a question of what the players need, and on the other, the results of the last game naturally play a role. If the results have been beneficial for self-confidence, a break is probably irrelevant, because if you're already floating, then you'll continue to float during the break; but if things haven't gone well beforehand and you're in a hole, you'll stay in that hole. So overall, it's very situational, which is why I don't attach so much relevance to the topic. For us, however, the longer break also means that we can start our preparations sooner.

The TTF are the traditional local heroes at the Final Four. How important is Ochsenhausen's participation for the event and, conversely, how important is participation in the event for your club?

Taking part in the Liebherr Cup Final Four is hugely important to us, especially because of our role as local heroes. We are incredibly pleased to be back at the Final Four after a somewhat shaky season so far and to have achieved our first minimum goal. The tournament is a great event for everyone involved, which is why it is also important for us, our partners, supporters and companions to be there. But it is also important for the TTBL as the organizer and for the Liebherr Cup Final Four due to its location that a local hero is involved. I think that Ochsenhausen's participation will attract a few more spectators. Ultimately, however, the focus is on the sport, which means that the best teams should be there. All in all, it's important for the TTBL and for us, and it's a lucky coincidence that we're taking part.

According to many experts, your team's semi-final against Champions League winners 1. FC Saarbrücken is a real cracker. How do you rate Ochsenhausen's chances for this match?

I also think that this match is a hit. You'll see world-class quality centered and concentrated on the court, the spectators can really look forward to top-class table tennis. As far as our chances are concerned, I think that, as is so often the case in table tennis, it will really depend on how we are on the day, how mentally prepared we are on the one hand and whether we feel a bit of a pinch here and there on the other. Because we've already been hit abnormally hard by absences in the season so far, which we've compensated for with our fortunately broad squad, I hope that we can start the tournament at the Liebherr Cup Final Four with the best possible line-up and without any aches and pains and thus provide the icing on the cake.

Can the tradition and atmosphere of the Final Four be compared to the cup myth in soccer - taking into account the relations?

Why shouldn't that be comparable? We are now in our ninth year in the ratiopharm arena and the number of spectators is increasing year on year, which speaks for itself. But it remains important to ensure that the standard of the event as a whole continues to rise and that the participating clubs are strong and therefore attractive enough to attract spectators and encourage them to attend. Because it has gone so well so far, we can already speak of a cup myth and don't even have to look at soccer, because table tennis also stands up well on its own.

You played a key role in three of Ochsenhausen's four cup wins in the box. What is your best cup memory?

We can look back on these four cup victories with pride. I was able to help create all four successes and none of these titles is more important to me than any other of these successes, because I always realized how much strength it takes to win a single title and how much you have to bring to the table. That's why each of these titles has earned a special place in my mind and heart. Of course, our fourth cup win in 2019 and the emotional outburst at the time, after we had waited 15 years for it and persistently worked towards it, are still a special memory. Nevertheless, each of our successes has its own special significance. A title is a title, no matter when or in what form. That's why they are all special and have their own memories for me.

Thank you very much for the interview, Kristijan Pejinovic.

Interview: Florian Manzke

TTBL Redaktion

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