Head-to-head: Düsseldorf and Saarbrücken compared


Head-to-head: Düsseldorf and Saarbrücken compared

Head-to-head: Düsseldorf and Saarbrücken compared

In just over two weeks, Borussia Düsseldorf and 1. FC Saarbrücken TT will face each other in the Liebherr TTBL final: The showdown for the German championship will take place on June 30 at the Süwag Energie ARENA in Frankfurt. In this head-to-head, we take a look at the two finalists.

The direct comparison

Borussia Düsseldorf and 1. FC Saarbrücken TT have already faced each other four times this season, and twice have been for a title. The record champions prevailed in the Liebherr Cup final in January (3:0), while FCS defended its title in the Champions League at Easter (3:2). In the main round of the German Table Tennis League (TTBL), the Saarland team also came out on top twice, with a 3:2 win in both the first and second legs. Saarbrücken will now be hoping for a much-desired triumph in the Liebherr TTBL final - FCS has been defeated by Düsseldorf in each of the past three years (1:3, 2:3, 1:3).

The teams

A total of four players from the top 25 in the world are in the squads of the two teams: Dang Qiu (10) and Anton Källberg (16) for Düsseldorf, Darko Jorgic (20) and Patrick Franziska (9) for Saarbrücken. At the same time, they are among the best players in the TTBL season so far: Jorgic is the second most successful player behind Ricardo Walther (ASV Grünwettersbach; 15:3) with a 14:2 record, followed by Källberg (16:5) in third place ahead of Saarbrücken's Yuto Muramatsu (14:3). Franziska (11:2), Boll (11:7) and Qiu (7:3) also had clearly positive results.

The coaches

Danny Heister has been in charge as coach at Borussia Düsseldorf for 14 years and has led the record champions to numerous successes during this time. Three Champions League titles (2011, 2018, 2021), one ETTU Cup title (2012), nine cup wins (2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2021, 2024) and ten championships (2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2021, 2022, 2023) are all down to Heister. Wang Zhi has been in charge at 1. FC Saarbrücken TT since November 2020 and has also already collected several trophies. There have already been eight final appearances across all competitions under his leadership, including the cup win in 2022 and, most recently, the Champions League title twice in a row.

The road to the Liebherr TTBL-Finale

Düsseldorf and Saarbrücken have been the dominant teams in Europe for years and have made their way to the Liebherr TTBL final for the fourth time in a row. In the season so far, the challenger has fared better: Saarbrücken dominated from the outset, winning 7 of the 20 main round matches outright with 3:0 and ultimately securing first place with 34:6 points and a clear lead. The round was more varied for Düsseldorf, who only won four out of ten games in the second round. With 26:14 points, Borussia finally qualified for the play-offs in second place, where they prevailed after three matches against TSV Bad Königshofen (1:3, 3:0, 3:0). Saarbrücken advanced to the Liebherr TTBL final against SV Werder Bremen (3:0, 3:2).

The titles

77 vs. 6 - when comparing the trophy cabinets, Düsseldorf clearly has the edge. The record champions will be aiming for their 34th German championship on June 30 and can draw on good experience against their long-term rivals: Borussia had already triumphed against Saarbrücken in the Liebherr TTBL finals of the past three years. However, FCS can also look back on the most successful period in the club's history: In addition to the two Champions League triumphs, they won the German Championship in 2020 and the Cup for the second time since 2012 in 2022. Saarbrücken also won the ETTU Cup in 2014.

The defectors

First Borussia Düsseldorf, then 1. FC Saarbrücken TT - this has happened three times in recent history. Probably the most prominent defector is Patrick Franziska: The Odenwald native played for Düsseldorf for two years before moving to Saarbrücken in 2016, thus setting the course for the club to establish itself at the top of the world rankings. His current contract runs until 2025 - so FCS can also count on the services of the world number nine in the coming season. Bastian Steger played for Borussia for six years (2000-2006) and ended up at FCS via TTC Frickenhausen (2006-2010), for whom he played for four years and with whom he won the cup (2012) and the ETTU Cup (2014). Patrick Baum played for Saarbrücken from 2016 to 2018, after playing for Düsseldorf from 2010 to 2014 and in between stints at TTC RhönSprudel Fulda-Maberzell (2014-2015) and TTC Caen (2015-2016). Baum is now active at TTC Zugbrücke Grenzau, Steger at TSV Bad Königshofen.

Liebherr TTBL-Finale on June 30

1 p.m.: 1. FC Saarbrücken TT – Borussia Düsseldorf

Remaining tickets for the Liebherr TTBL-Finale are available in our ticket store. Tickets are available from as little as 15 euros, and the Lotto Hessen group ticket is available for groups of ten or more.

Featured image center: Timo Boll and Patrick Franziska (Photo: BeLa Sportfoto)

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