I’m back … and I’ve been playing some Ringtennis

DM2015 Bronze Medal

It’s been quite some time since my last post, but now that my PhD thesis is almost finished (like, really, 99% finished), I’m gonna make some more time for blogging again :). For a start, I’ll write about this year’s German Championships in Ringtennis, which I played three weeks ago in Recklinghausen.

Statistically, it was my worst performance in 6 six years with only a single medal—bronze in men’s singles. The last time I secured only one medal was at the German Championships in Siegen in 2009 (an event nowadays known as “the battle in the rain”). Yet, it was probably the singles competition with the best line-up I’ve ever participated in. In the group stage, Jürgen Öttel (former national player; 3rd place in mixed doubles at last year’s World Championships) and Andre Katzberg (former national player and German champion) were eliminated! After an expected loss in the semifinal against Alexej Ermak (I also lost the semifinal at this year’s tournament in Siegen and the final in Konstanz against him), I secured a victory against the defending German champion Timo Hufnagel in the match for third place. In fact, Timo had won the last 4 championships in men’s singles (2011—2014). Therfore, I consider the bronze medal to be way more valuable than, e.g., my 2nd place in men’s singles in 2012. Considering all players’ performances over the past year, that 3rd place was really the absolute optimum for me. Ultimately, the current World Champion Fabian Ziegler became the first to also win the German Championships and hold both titles at the same time. As for the mixed doubles and doubles competitions … let’s just not talk about those 😅

Up to now, 2015 was not that bad for me when it comes to Ringtennis, despite my rather poor performance at the German Championships. I made it to the singles final at the Konstanz tournament (Alexej was simply better than me this year—never had a real chance against him) and as I explained above, the bronze medal was pretty satisfying. Also, I won the men’s doubles competitions at the tournaments in Siegen and Konstanz (with Hendrik Freitag and Jürgen Öttel). In Konstanz, we even won the final against the old and new German Champions Fabian Ziegler and Christian Herzog. Finally, I’m still no. 3 in Germany with over 1,000 ranking points overall.

Rank before +/- Name Club Points
1 (2) +1 Alexej Ermak SG Suderwich 1414
2 (5) +3 Fabian Ziegler ESG Karlsruhe 1094
3 (3) 0 Maximilian Speicher TSV Neubiberg 1061
4 (4) 0 Jürgen Öttel TSV Neubiberg 765
5 (1) -4 Timo Hufnagel TV Kieselbronn 593
6 (8) +2 Christian Herzog ESG Karlsruhe 424
7 (7) 0 Michael Kaiser TV Heddesdorf 418
8 (12) +4 Andre Katzberg RTG Weidenau 394
9 (15) +6 Sebastian Posiadly TuS Rodenbach 326
10 (10) 0 Thomas Tregel SKG Roßdorf 185
11 (6) -5 Julian Sauck SG Suderwich 158
12 (13) +1 Tobias Höfelmayr SKG Roßdorf 120
13 (14) +1 Tim Elsner TG Groß-Karben 111
14 (18) +4 Stefan Edelmann PSG Mannheim 100
15 (16) -1 Hendrik Freitag TG Groß-Karben 79
16 (9) -7 Volker Herrmann TuS Rodenbach 79
17 (17) 0 Sebastian Weber RTG Weidenau 67
18 (34) +16 Samir Issa RTG Weidenau 66
19 (31) +10 Pascal Wagener VfL Wehbach 47
20 (20) 0 Thorben Goth SG Suderwich 45

But still, 2015 is far behind last year, which was probably the best year in Ringtennis I’ve ever had, with a World Team Championship, a 3rd place in the World Singles Championships, a victory in men’s singles at the Siegen tournament (against Alexej), a South German Championship in men’s singles and a German Championship in men’s doubles (with Alexej). Let’s hope 2016 will be more like 2014 than 2015!

Back at the Top

Timo Hufnagel (back) vs. myself
Timo Hufnagel (back) vs. myself

Following my victories at the Siegen Tournament and the South German Championships, I’m back at the top of the German ranking after almost two years. All five men that played for Germany at the World Team Championships (which are also the top 5 of the ranking) participated in the men’s singles competition at the South German Championships, which were held in Karlsruhe (the “birthplace of German Ringtennis”). I beat the reigning world champion Fabian Ziegler in the group stage before winning against 6-time German champion Timo Hufnagel (43–41) in a very close semifinal. In the final, I beat Fabian again with a score of 41–28. The top four players of the competition (myself, Fabian, my doubles partner Alexej Ermak, and Timo) qualify for the German Championships.

The next tournament will be held at Lake Constance the coming weekend. The event will also include an international test match against the national Ringtennis team of Belarus.

Rank before +/- Name Club Points
1 (2) +1 Maximilian Speicher VfL 1901 e.V. Wehbach 1629
2 (1) -1 Timo Hufnagel TV Pforzheim 1379
3 (3) 0 Fabian Ziegler ESG Karlsruhe 913
4 (5) +1 Alexej Ermak TSV Neubiberg 910
5 (4) -1 Julian Sauck SG Suderwich 754
6 (6) 0 Sascha Schneider TV Heddesdorf 385
7 (8) +1 Michael Kaiser RTG Weidenau 317
8 (7) -1 Christian Kämpfer RTG Weidenau 266
9 (16) +7 Thomas Tregel SKG Roßdorf 147
10 (9) -1 Fabio Spagnino TuS Rodenbach 147
11 (10) -1 Andre Katzberg RTG Weidenau 146
12 (11) -1 Tobias Höfelmayr SKG Roßdorf 144
13 (12) -1 Jürgen Öttel TSV Mimmenhausen 143
14 (13) -1 Christian Herzog ESG Karlsruhe 143
15 (14) -1 Walter Amon SKG Roßdorf 143
16 (18) +2 Marcel Rockenfeller TuS Rodenbach 91
17 (25) +8 Volker Herrmann TuS Rodenbach 71
18 (17) -1 Sebastian Weber RTG Weidenau 61
19 (19) +1 Tim Flender RTG Weidenau 57
20 (20) 0 Udo Heger DJK St. Ingbert 44