Liam Pitchford’s opening win for TTF Liebherr Ochsenhausen over Saarbrucken’s Bojan Tokic was not enough to prevent their German rivals from winning the ETTU Cup on Saturday night.

Saarbrucken were in a strong position heading into the second leg following their 3-0 win in the first leg three weeks earlier. Their position meant that a solitary victory at their home venue would be enough to lift the cup – something they achieved with little to spare.

The English no.1’s Ochsenhausen side roared back to win the second leg 3-1 but Bastian Steger’s triumph over Kirill Skachkov in the second rubber was enough to secure a 4-3 aggregate win.

Pitchford did at least give his side hope in the opening fixture by beating world no. 44 Tokic from Slovenia by a close 3-2 (11-6, 10-12, 12-10, 3-11, 17-15) scoreline. This was a particularly impressive result given that Tokic had beaten former Olympic Champion Ryu Seung Min in the first leg.

Unfortunately for Ochsenhausen, Steger’s win in the second game closed out the contest, but pride was restored with wins from Simon Gauzy and Skachkov to at least give the runners-up a 3-1 consolation win.

by Russell Moore (June 2, 2014)