Turbulent long-distance duel – Sport – SZ.de
If there was ever a need for ultimate proof of how close the table tennis Bundesliga (TTBL) is, then Post SV Mühlhausen recently came up with it. On the last weekend in February, the club from Thuringia first defeated the sovereign leaders Borussia Düsseldorf. Just as surprising as it was crashing 3-0. Highlight: Steffen Mengel didn’t let Timo Boll win a set in the third individual. That was on Saturday.
Just one day later, the same Mühlhausen then made a guest appearance at the bottom of the table Mainz, who will not be relegated because after Neu-Ulm’s announced TTBL withdrawal and the waiver of promotion by the second division leader Bad Homburg, one place too many would otherwise remain free in the TTBL. In any case, Mühlhausen lost to these Mainzers as surprisingly as it crashed 0:3. The favorite conquered a total of three sets in three matches.
For TSV Bad Königshofen, who have been fighting a long-distance duel with Mühlhausen for the fourth and last playoff spot for a few weeks, it was a roller coaster ride of emotions: first frustration because the competition was obviously scheduled to lose against Düsseldorf, then relief again . However, the team from Lower Franconia was far from laughing their heads off because of this mistake. After all, it knew that the bottom of the table in Japanese defensive artist Yuto Muramatsu has one of the most successful players in the league under contract (win record 16:4); that he has also defeated a few other strong opponents, for example a certain TSV Bad Königshofen in the first half of the season; and that he himself had to go to Mainz only a week later. Where he then – you guessed it – also lost last Sunday, albeit not with a crash.
1:3 was the result, which must have annoyed the guests (who started without the injured Kilian Ort), because Filip Zeljko missed a 2:0 set lead and three match points against Andrei Putuntica, a Moldovan who is not in the top 300 can be found in the world rankings. It was enough for the Mainzers that Muramatsu turned his current exceptional condition into two sovereign victories. And Bad Königshofen had missed the chance to at least draw level with Mühlhausen on points in fourth and last place in the playoffs.
The league is on pause next weekend due to a WTT tournament in Singapore. There would be time for clubs and job-seeking professionals like the three young Russians from TTC Neu-Ulm to hold talks. In many places, however, the planning is likely to have already been completed. Bad Königshofen’s team manager Andreas Albert also confirms a request from Maksim Grebnev, who played for TSV last season. But now her new squad is already full.