The new Champions League format for 2017 came to its conclusion at the German Open with iPro London crowned as champions after a dominant display in Nussloch winning all 4 of their remaining matches.
The iPro London team in Germany consisted of Duncan Stahl (c), Natalie Paul, Christian Wiessner and Peter De Bleeckere and many had predicted that their first game on Friday morning against the King of Rackets’ team of Jesper Hougaard, Lieselot de Bleeckere (c), Paul Sach and Jorg Kanonenberg would be a key match.
Duncan Stahl and Jesper Hougaard played out a very tight match at Men’s no.1 singles ending completely equal at 35-35, but two very close London victories in the men’s doubles (P. De Bleeckere/Stahl vs Kanonenberg/P.Sach) and mixed (Paul/Wiessner vs L.De Bleeckere/J.Hougaard) as well dominant victories by Natalie Paul over Lieselot and by Wiessner over Kanonberg meant that iPro London recorded a crucial +28 victory, denying KOR a vital bonus point. This put the London team in a very strong position which they never let slip throughout the weekend as they went on to win their remaining matches against the Berlin Boasters, Klosteneuburg Austria and the Swiss Eagles.
A big win in their final match on Sat evening against Copenhagen ensured that KOR finished in 2nd place and a consistently strong performance over the weekend by the Austrian team enabled them to move from 7th position to edge into 3rd place (by just 4 points on points difference).
Once again a feature of all the matches in Germany was just how evenly matched all the Teams were with 8 of the 16 matches played being decided by less than 20 points (when there are 264 points being played for in every team match).
Most Valuable Player for the 2017 Champions League was decided by which player scored the most overall points for their team (in both doubles and singles). Again, this was very close but congratulations go to Natalie Paul for taking the MVP! See the top 5 players below:
|Player||Team||Total Singles||Total Doubles||Total Points|
It was clear that all the players hugely enjoyed the experience of representing their different team franchises, playing with players from different countries and showing a great sense of spirit and pride for their teams – this was largely down to the huge effort of all the captains who provided sponsors, team logos and team shirts ensuring each Team Franchise create their own style and identity.
Captains will each be allowed to keep two of their players for next year’s 2018 Champions League before another Draft is done which new players will be able to sign up for. There are also plans for a 2nd Division which will give the opportunity for B & C players to experience the special thrill of this new Champions League competition.
Here is the final Champions League table for 2017…