Check out the play-off semi-finalists | Part 1: Saarbrücken and Bremen


Check out the play-off semi-finalists | Part 1: Saarbrücken and Bremen

Check out the play-off semi-finalists | Part 1: Saarbrücken and Bremen

The season in the German Table Tennis League (TTBL) is heading towards a brilliant end: in the play-offs, four teams are fighting for a place in the Liebherr TTBL final, where the German championship will ultimately be decided. We take a closer look at the semi-finalists, this time: 1. FC Saarbrücken TT and SV Werder Bremen.

The squad

Whether at the top or across the board: 1. FC Saarbrücken TT has an impressive squad quality. Led by Patrick Franziska and Darko Jorgic, both ranked in the top 20 of the world rankings, the two-time Champions League winners can compete with any team in the world. Compared to the previous season, Saarbrücken has also made further improvements: With Yuto Muramatsu, Cedric Nuytinck, Eduard Ionescu and Cedric Meissner, FCS have numerous options at their disposal and can also vary their line-up. SV Werder Bremen, on the other hand, seem more predictable: Mattias Falck has played in 19 of 20 matches in the German Table Tennis League (TTBL) at number one - incidentally against Saarbrücken, of all teams, at three - with Kirill Gerassimenko and Marcelo Aguirre likely to line up behind him. Cristian Pletea will leave the club in the summer.

The history of the final

Saarbrücken is the perennial favorite among the finalists: FCS has made it to the Liebherr TTBL final five times in a row, winning the title once. The coup came in 2020 against TTF Liebherr Ochsenhausen. Most recently, there were three defeats against Borussia Düsseldorf, and in 2019 there was a 0:3 against Ochsenhausen. Saarbrücken is also a regular in the play-offs - the club has been in the top four every year since 2011. Bremen celebrated the German championship in 2013 with victories against Düsseldorf and Ochsenhausen. Since then, they have only made it to the play-offs once, losing 3-0 to Saarbrücken in 2020.

The road to the play-offs

Saarbrücken can look back on an impressive first half of the season. They took the lead in the table right at the start and did not relinquish it until the final matchday. With 34:6 points, FCS recorded the best haul in the club's history and the third most points in the past ten years - only Düsseldorf was even better in 2020/21 and 2021/22 with 40:4 points each. Saarbrücken only suffered defeats in Bremen, Mainz (both 1:3) and Grünwettersbach (2:3). Things were much more varied for Werder: The Bremen side had a strong first round, finishing third, but then suffered three defeats in a row and seemed to have already gambled away their place in the play-offs. Thanks to three wins at the end, Falck and Co. finally secured fourth place with 22:18 points thanks to the better match ratio compared to Post SV Mühlhausen.

The previous duels

The two teams have met three times in all competitions so far this season, with Werder coming out on top at least once. In the first-round duel in December, the individual victories of Falck (2) and Gerassimenko ensured a 3:1 home win. The return match, on the other hand, went to Saarbrücken with the same result, Muramatsu (2) and Jorgic both won their matches in three sets; Gerassimenko scored for Werder against Franziska. In contrast, the duel in the cup quarter-finals was a clear-cut affair: Jorgic (3:1 against Aguirre), Franziska (3:1 against Falck) and Muramatsu (3:1 against Gerassimenko) secured a 3:0 win for the reigning runners-up last November.

Overview of the play-offs

Game 1
Monday, May 20, 4 p.m.:
 TSV Bad Königshofen – Borussia Düsseldorf
Thursday, May 23, 7 p.m.: SV Werder Bremen – 1. FC Saarbrücken TT

Game 2
Thursday, May 23, 7 p.m.:
 Borussia Düsseldorf – TSV Bad Königshofen
Sunday, May 26, 3 p.m.: 1. FC Saarbrücken TT – SV Werder Bremen

Game 3
Sunday, May 26, 1 p.m.:
 Borussia Düsseldorf – TSV Bad Königshofen
Tuesday, June 4, 7 p.m.: 1. FC Saarbrücken TT – SV Werder Bremen

Tickets for the Liebherr TTBL Final 2024 are still available in all categories in our ticket store.

TTBL Redaktion

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