The new EBU season begins once more in Antwerp with the Belgian International, with local interest in many of the events this week. For some, it will be their first competition of the season but for most of the seeds it will be a return to European soil after their World Championship excursion.
The Men’s singles is headed by England’s Carl Baxter, with Stephan Wojcikiewicz seeded 6th for the event also. Top seeded Baxter will play Austrian Michael Lahnsteiner in Round 1, with second seeded Marc Zweibler playing Rune Massing of Holland in the opening round.
The Women’s Singles has several players that progressed to the last 32 in the World Championships, led by top seed Ella Diehl from Russia. Diehl will play a qualifier in Round 1. Second seeded Yao Jie of Holland also progressed to the second round in India; she plays Croatian Andrea Zvorc in Round 1 in Belgium.
Third seed Larisa Griga lost to World Champion Lu Lan in Round 1 in India, she will play a qualifier in Round 1, Susan Egelstaff lost to Wang Yihan in Round 2 at the World Championships, and she starts her campaign in Belgium against Claudia Mayer of Austria.
Another one to watch in the ladies draw is 7th seeded Lianne Tan, winner of th Junior event in February and also reaching the last 32 of the World Championships at just 18 years old.
The big local hopes is in the Womens Doubles, with Steffi Annys and Severine Corvilain being seeded 1 for the event, They have a first round bye however the pair come into the event failing to win a match since the Polish Open in March.
Wouter Claes is seeded 3 for the Mens Doubles with Frederic Mawet and seeded 2 for the Mixed with Natalie Deschamps. He comes into the event after losing in both events in India in the opening round in 3 sets.
The Belgian International Open begins on Thursday, September 3.