„It’s madness“

Women of the TTC 46 Weinheim qualify for the final of the German Team Championship and will meet Berlin there

„It’s madness“

Weinheim. „Final!“ shouted Christian Säger, table tennis boss of the TTC 46 Weinheim into the microphone. And the team sang in chorus: „O-ho!“. Oho is really what the ladies of the TTC 46 are calling off in this round. The reward: Now they are in the final of the German Table Tennis Championship! On Friday, they will travel to the serial winner ttc eastside Berlin, and on Sunday at 2 p.m., the sports hall of the Werner Heisenberg Gymnasium will be the venue for the second leg. In the event of a deciding match, the women from Weinheim would have the right to play at home again on Monday at 2 p.m. in the same place.

Weinheim first set the stage for this showdown in the semifinals against Böblingen. Here, the women of coach Andreas Dörner prevailed twice. If the match on Friday was quite close despite the clear result of 6:2, then in the home match in the „Heisenberg Sauna“ yesterday at the intermediate score of 5:1 the final entry was already achieved. A draw would have been enough for Weinheim to reach the grand final, but Mateja Jeger had something against that. The 28-year-old prevailed in her singles match against Mitsuki Yoshida and made the 6:3 victory perfect after her three-set win.

„Crazy what this means“

„It’s crazy what this means for Weinheim. Not long ago, the team was still playing in the 2nd division,“ the Croatian laughed with relief. „Before the first leg on Friday, we were much more nervous than today, where we played more liberated. And now we are in the final, madness!“ In front of the record crowd of 350 spectators in the much too hot Heisenberg Hall, the two doubles wins were again the knot-tying factor, as they had been in Böblingen. „I was totally tense, after the 2:0 it got much better,“ breathed the completely exhausted, but relieved Christian Säger deeply. The individual sets were mostly close, but in the end Bruna Takahashi and Mateja Jeger had a 3:1 win against Gotsch/Yoshida.

350 spectators were allowed, 350 came: The fans did not want to miss the historic table tennis moment in Weinheim. And they were rewarded. Picture: Thomas Rittelmann

Böblingen’s attempt to achieve a better result by swapping the doubles pairings did not lead to success. Yuan Wan and Sophia Klee had to deal with Kaufmann/Hartbrich this time and defeated them 3:0 as well. Bruna Takahashi took revenge for the clear defeat in the first leg against Annett Kaufmann with 3:0 as well, while Yuan Wan could not hold her ground against the defensive balls of Qianhong Gotsch despite fierce resistance.

Back pair decides

In the second leg, the strong performance of the two Weinheim players in the back pair was also decisive. Mateja Jeger is „a bench“. As so often, she calmly dispatched Leonie Hartbrich 3:0, and Sophia Klee also secured sets 1 and 2 in extra time against Mitsuki Yoshida – with the cheers of the fans, she already closed the bag. Her victory meant the fifth point and thus at least a draw, which already meant a place in the final.

After that, the air seemed a bit out. „Understandable – to pull this off is really hard. All the more impressive how Qianhong Gotsch then defeated Bruna Takahashi. A role model of attitude,“ TTC coach Andreas Dörner stated. The 54-year-old table tennis legend, who has been active for Böblingen for 20 years, won the patience game against Takahashi, whose feared backhand topspin was no longer effective. Yuan Wan also had to acknowledge the superiority of Annett Kaufmann this time.

As usual, the „Mrs. Reliable“ of the TTC 46 Weinheim, Mateja Jeger.

As usual, Mateja Jeger delivered another point with her 3:0 against Mitsuki Yoshida for the final score of 6:3, so that Sophia Klee’s match against Leonie Hartbrich did not have to be counted. „I’m happy that we also showed our performance in the home match,“ said Klee, who, like her teammates, is not putting any pressure on herself for the final. „We can enjoy it and we are definitely not the favorite,“ said the youngest in the team. Also with regard to the two victories against Berlin in the 1st Bundesliga, which Weinheim finished first in the table. „In the play-offs, everything starts from zero again.“

Eight-time German champion and Champions League winner ttc berlin eastside prevailed after a 5-5 in Bavaria and a 6-2 at home against SV DJK Kolbermoor and will now host the first leg of the finals against TTC 46 in Berlin on Friday (6:30 p.m.). The Weinheim team will most likely arrive as early as Thursday evening in a minibus and then also spend the night in Berlin before returning to Weinheim on Saturday.

The pressure is completely on Berlin. They’ve won the title so many times, they’re expected to do it again now, says Mateja Jeger, who is simply looking forward to the games. Especially because Giorgia Piccolin will get to play her final match in Weinheim after all, Jeger laughs. Today we already missed her and we were sad that she couldn’t be there to see it. Who knows maybe, despite this season of highlights, the best will come at the end after all. Anything is to be expected of this team. AT/hol

Final games: Friday, 6:30 p.m.: ttc berlin eastside TTC 46 Weinheim,
Sunday, June 11, 2 p.m.: TTC 46 Berlin
(a deciding match would take place on Monday, June 12, 7 p.m., also in Weinheim).