TABLE TENNIS: Amiens must quickly digest its defeat against Montpellier

The Nîmes/Montpellier alliance confirmed their status as favorites by easily winning 3-0 against ASTT, during the second day of Pro B. The Amiénois are traveling to Nice on Tuesday to relaunch themselves.

For the first game, Tamas Lakatos confront Felix Lebrun. The Hungarian is asphyxia by his opponent from the start. The Frenchman leaves no moment of respite to the Amiens. The first is set is just a formality, 11-3. Same scenario in the second round. The Samarian is overwhelmed, and too many faults (11-4). In the third and last act, the youngest of the Lebrun brothers (16), misses a few shots, but too few to give hope to Lakatos, who is forced to bow in just 15 minutes. There was a gap class between the two players. Arnaud Selliercoach of the ASTT, recognizes the superiority of Montpellier: ” There was no match. We knew that if Félix played he would have scored two points, he is a top level player, he misses almost nothing, he attacks all the time. He was much better than us“.

In the only match of the evening where there is real suspense, Tobias Rasmussen is measured against a former player from Amiens, Gregory John. A left-handed duel that starts in favor of the Frenchman, who disturbs the Dane thanks to very good service. The Montpellier player gets four set points, but sees the Samarian join him at 10 everywhere. Jean stays strong and pockets the first set 12-10. Rasmussen plays well, but does not win the most important points. The local takes the second set 11-9. An ascent looks difficult, but the Samarian remains hopeful. He stays near the table and hurts his competitor with his forehand. The Amiens player takes off and wins the third act 5-11.

Danish to move back, and starts in the fourth set (3-0). The Frenchman keeps his lead and offers the second point to his team (11-7). The Amiens did not deserve but fell on a Grégoire Jean more regular and efficient, especially in service. The Picard coach says that Rasmussen is disappointed: ” If he takes the first set it can turn the game around. He had a lot of trouble getting back on duty. Grégoire made the best choices in important points. Tobie is left frustrated of the game because he felt he had made the wrong choices“.

jesus cantero is opposed to Brian Afanador for the third encounter. The Spaniard starts off with a beating drumbeat, in particular thanks to his slaps in right hit. But his game is stalling. Six unforced errors in a row allow the Montpellier player to pocket the first round 11-9. The other two sets are similar, the Amiens sagacious and is not regular enough to hamper his opponent. The Puerto Rican completes the job (11-5, 11-7). Amiens is badly beaten.

A second trip in stride

The ASTT continues its big week at Pleasant. The opportunity to restart immediately against a team of the same level according to Arnaud Sellier : “ It is a team that is in our ropes. They made a good start to the championship. There is a good leader (Hunor Szocs), an experienced French player (Jérémy Petiot). It’s a dangerous team, which was drafted at the last minute. They are euphoric and have nothing to lose. It’s a team that is more like the ones we met at the start of the championship, it will be more balanced“. The technician from Amiens remains focused on victory, which is crucial: “ The result is going to be important, but so is the way. It’s important to win so as not to doubt, the defeat against Montpellier is normal. If we win we can approach the rest more calmly and have less pressure on Friday“.

2nd day of Pro B: Nîmes/Montpellier (2nd) – Amiens STT (4th) : 3-0
Felix Lebrun (#35) – Tamas Lakatos (#58): 11-3; 11-4; 11-6
Gregory Jean (#62) – Tobias Rasmussen (#60): 12-10; 11-9; 5-11; 11-7
Brian Afanador (n°45) – Jesus Cantero (n°67): 11-9; 11-5; 11-7

6th day of Pro B:
Nice (7th) – Amiens STT (3rd): Tuesday November 22, 8 p.m.

Romain Ales
Photo credit: Kevin Devigne – Gazette Sports (archive)

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