Denmark was in dominant form much of the week and that wouldn’t change on finals day of the FZ Forza Denmark International. The only final that didn’t feature all Danish players was the womens singles where Anastasia Prokopenko faced off against Agnese Allegrini. Prokopenko won the match and the championship with two straight games 21-15, 21-15.
The top seeded mens singles player Jan Jorgensen had a similarly straight forward win as was the case much of the week for the speedy Dane. A more straight forward path to the finals must have helped Jorgensen as he defeated his fellow countryman Hans Kristian Vittinghus in two games 21-15, 21-12. Vittinghus had to struggle through a number of 3 game matches to find his place in the final, and it appeared to have taken it’s toll on him.
In the womens doubles Line Kruse and Marie Røpke continued their amazing run by defeating their higher ranked compatriots Maria Helsbøl and Anne Skelbæk in two games 21-14, 21-14.
Maria Helsbøl would have to suffer disappointment once again in the mixed doubles when she and her partner Rasmus Bonde were defeated by second seeds Mad Pieler Kolding and Julie Houmann 21-13, 21-15.
Finally in the mens doubles in yet another all Danish affair Rasmus Bonde was able to make up for his mixed doubles loss when him and Anders Kristiansen won a close three game match over Mikkel Elbjørn Larsen and Christian Skovgaard 21-14, 19-21, 21-16.
Danish players provided the upsets of the day as four of the five events have turned into all-Danish finals, with 3 unseeded pairs reaching their respective finals.
Jan O Jorgensen continued his impressive run this week, with the top seed failing to drop a game the entire week on route to Sunday’s final. His opponent in the final is the 2nd seeded Hans-Kristian Vittinghus who survived two scares on Friday to progress into the last 8 where he regained his form and won his two matches today in two games to come into the final in some good form.
The only non-Danish final is between the 7th seeded Agnese Allegrini and 3rd seeded Anastasia Prokopenko. The Italian 7th seeded defeated the top seeded Linda Zechiri in the quarter final and then defeated Chloe Magee in two games to reach the final. The 3rd seeded Russian defeated the 6th seeded Olga Konon in the quarter final before taking on Judith Meulendijks, who whilst the match was finely posed at 13-8 in the third game had to retire to allow the progression of Prokopenko to the final.
The three doubles events are all Danish affairs, with unseeded Elbjorn Larson and Skovgaard taking on another unseeded duo in Bonde and Kristiansen who have defeated the 2nd and 3rd seeds to reach the final. Rasmus Bonde also featuring in the mixed doubles final with partner Maria Heisbol, Bonde and Heisbol take on the 2nd seeded Pieler Kolding and Houmann in the mixed doubles final. Maria Heisbol is also in the women’s doubles final with partner Anna Skelbaek and the 3rd seeded pair take on the 4th seeds in Kruse and Ropke for the title tomorrow.
After 4 rounds of battle so far Marc Zwiebler’s path to the finals in Belgium has been somewhat matter of fact. Only India’s Anand Pawar has posed much of a threat but even he failed to take a game off of the dangerous left hander. His most recent victim Eetu Heino did not fair as well, losing quickly 21-7, 21-14 allowing Zwiebler a simple entry to the finals where he will now face Dutch shuttler Eric Pang who disposed of Russia’s Vladimir Ivanov in close two games 21-16, 21-19.
Neither of the womens singles finalists have yet to see much difficulty and have yet to drop a game en route to the finals. That will change tomorrow when Germany’s Juliane Schenk faces off against England’s Elizabeth Cann. Schenk defeated Anastasia Prokopenko 21-15, 21-7 while Cann defeated Scottish player Linda Sloan 21-17, 21-10 to seal her spot. Once again the top two seeds have kept their billing.
The top two seeds would not however make it to the finals in the mens doubles when Koen Ridder and Ruud Bosch fell to Germany’s Ingo Kindervater and Johannes Schöttler 21-15, 12-21, 21-13. Tomorrow they will be featured in an all German final against their compatriots Michael Fuchs and Oliver Roth who ousted their opponents Liu Yi and Terry Yeo Zhao Jiang 21-12, 21-18.
Once again it will be a first/second seed final in the women’s doubles and yet another Germany vs Holland match up with Lotte Jonathons and Paulien Van Dooremalen facing off against Birgit Overzier and Sandra Marinello. Both teams found their way into the finals fairly easily with the top seeded Dutch pairing winning their match against Kim Buss and Claudia Vogelgsang 21-10, 21-15 and the German’s defeating Thamar Peters and Josephine Wentholt 21-6, 21-16.
Germany has at least one player in every final, but they are guaranteed a title in the mixed doubles as both pairs remaining are Germany. Michael Fuchs and Birgit Overzier upset the top seeded Ukrainian pairing of Valerly Atrashchenkov and Elena Prus 21-19, 21-10 while Johannes Schöttler and Sandra Marinello defeated Kieran Merrilees and Kirsty Gilmour 21-12, 21-12. From the looks of things Germany is likely to take home multiple titles this weekend.
The EBU circuit first event of the new season started in Belgium this week, with many of the top seeds still having a hangover period after the World Championships last month. Top seeded Marc Zwiebler has reached the last 8 impressively in the men’s singles, defeating both opponents in games and conceding just 34 points over the two matches. The other seed to survive the opening two rounds is Anand Pawar of India, the 6th seed plays the top seed German in tomorrow’s quarter final.
The other two seeds play in the 4th quarterfinal as 7th seeded Ville Lang of Finland takes on 2nd seeded Eric Pang. Both have progressed to the last 8 without dropping a game, with Lang conceding 51 points and Pang 56 points to date.
The top seed in the women’s singles is also through to the last 8, Juliane Schenk stormed through her opening 2 matches without the loss of a game to set up a quarter final against qualifier Panuga Riou of England. The 2nd seeded Elizabeth Cann is also through to the last 8, as well as Anastasia Prokopenko. The 7th seeded Elena Prus is the 4th and final seed left in the draw, she plays Scotland’s Linda Sloan in tomorrow’s quarterfinals.
All 7 of the seeds that started the event today are safely into the last 8, only Ashmiran and Khakimov of Russia remain as the unseeded pair left in the draw. Top seeded Bosch and Ridder are safely through to face the 5th seeded Chopra and Kona of India. The top two seeds in the women’s doubles are also through to tomorrow’s quarterfinals, but there is local interest from Biesbrouck and Devooght who are through to the last 8.
Four of the eight remaining couples in the mixed doubles are German, leading to two all-German quarterfinals with one on each side of the draw. Top seeded Atrashchenkov and Prus are safely into the last 8 as well as the Scottish pair of Kieran Merrilees and Kirsty Gilmour, both are known for their singles play and this is their first tournament playing together.