Nordhorn Brettchen Open 2001 at 26.05.2001

Kai Lenters' attacks dominate the defense of Siegfried Porsch

Nordhorn (HH). Nostalgia and modernity shook hands on Saturday in the gym of the Frensdorf School - the inaugural Nordhorn Brettchen Open was played with rackets reminiscent of the 50s, but it was also the first official tournament in this county played with the newly implemented 40mm ball.

It came as no surprise that the largely local playing field had no real problems with the larger ball. What was astonishing was the ability of some to adapt well to the unfamiliar equipment. The so-called "Brettchen" (hardbat) rackets with short pips-out rubber and no sponge make for a game that is completely different from the one associated with the high-tech spinny and fast rackets which are common today. Nonetheless, the 24 players from 8 mostly local clubs showed themselves, after a brief period of adjustment, to be quite agile at adapting to the much slower and basically spin-less "Brettchen".

At the tournament were 3 veterans, who were active players back when the whole world played table-tennis with hardbat. Rudi Knospe and Willi Maatmann from the local organising club Eintracht Nordhorn made their way as expected to the doubles finals. Victory seemed assured, until their fellow club player of 13 years Lars Brinkhaus and his doubles partner Beate Kunert came back from 12-18 down in the second game to win it, and then to take the third as well.

In singles, the two veterans from Eintracht were eliminated in the semis - Willi Maatmann upset by Kai Lenters and Rudi Knospe unable to break through the strong defence from Siegfried Porsch (from TTF Sterkade) with his attacks. In the finals, the 54-year-old Porsch , who plays in regular tournaments in the Ruhrgebiet with hardbat as well, was considered the favourite over 18-year old Lenters, who normally is very much part of the speed-gluing generation. However, Lenters's talent showed even with the unfamiliar equipment. He came back from losing the first game 13-21 and starting attacking more in the second and third games. The audience was thrilled by the remarkable duel between attack and defence, in which every point was hard-fought and where the ball crossed the net more than 20 times during some rallies - an absolute rarity in normal table-tennis. Lenters won both the second and third games 22:20 and thus surprisingly won the prize for this international tournament. The top seed in the tournament was Imke Kohrmeyer from the second league, but she did not make it past third place in doubles on Saturday.

After the finals match, Thorsten Boomhuis (President of the TT-division of Eintracht Nordhorn) spoke of the event as a successful attempt to enrich the present table-tennis scene.