Test Match vs. Belarus and Bodensee Tournament

2014 Bodensee tournamentThe past weekend, I participated in the Bodensee tournament, which was held right next to Lake Constance in the south of Germany. The tournament wasn’t overly successful for me, with a third place in mixed doubles being my best result that I secured together with Lydia Schidelko. In the quarter-final of the men’s singles competition, I had to play my teammate Alexej Ermak, to whom I lost by two points. Alexej went on to win the tournament, thus taking successful revenge for his defeat in the previous tournament in Siegen. Congrats, mate! 🙂

Incorporated into the tournament was an international test match against Belarus—the current number 4 in the World—, who unfortunately couldn’t play at full strength. Particularly, their men’s number 1 Andrej Konan wasn’t able to participate. Like at the World Cup four months ago, Belarus had no real chance of winning, so the match ended with a score of 22–0 for Germany. However, the Belorussian players are constantly improving. Most notably, Igor Yaruta was my doubles partner in the tournament. We came in third place in the group stage, thus not advancing to the knockout round, but it was a very close fight. We lost to Jürgen Öttel and Thomas Bleile—who later made it to the final—by only three points, and to Timo and Rainer Hufnagel—German champions of 2012—by only two points!

All in all, I think my performance wasn’t that bad. It’s always possible to lose against Alexej, especially when it’s such a tight game. If I would’ve been able to get through that quarter-final, I could’ve won the tournament as well. By the way, this was the first time since 2006 that I didn’t participate in the singles final of the Bodensee tournament. Now it’s time to prepare for the German championships, which are to be held in Kieselbronn in six weeks, and where I’ll be trying hard to win a championship title again after three years.

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