The top male and female players in Europe will represent their nations in the European Team Championships this week in Warsaw, Poland. Denmark are looking to defend both the Men and Women’s titles this week, but will face stern opposition from the likes of Germany, England and Netherlands.
Men’s Team Championships
2008 Result – Winners
The winners from two years ago are again the favourites for the title in 2010, with the likes of Jan O Jorgensen, Joachim Persson and Peter Gade for the singles and in doubles, the 4th ranked partnership in the world, Mogensen and Boe. In their group awaits Iceland, Finland, Hungary and Croatia. With the group winner receiving a bye in the Quarter Final.
2008 Result – 3rd
Germany want to go one better than their 3-1 defeat in the semi final against Denmark in the 2008 Event. Marc Zweibler and Dieter Domke will have to live up to and play above their rankings of 16 and 73 for Germany to repeat their 2006 appearance in the final. A potential rematch against Denmark could await in the semi final this year.
2008 Result – 4th
Poland has been on the rise for the last few years, with recent Super Series success in the mixed doubles. Wacha (#31 Rank) and Logosz and Mateusiak (#35 Rank) will need to perform at their best after being paired in a group with 2008 runners-up England. Thursday at 6pm will ultimately determine the winners of Group B.
2008 Result – 2nd
Denmark’s biggest challenge will come from England, with Andrew Smith, Rajiv Ouseph and Carl Baxter being the strongest line-up for England’s singles could potentially shock the Danish. Experienced heads like Robert Blair, Anthony Clark and Nathan Robertson will be invaluable with a new young squad of players like Adcock, Wright and Middleton. Their big test in the group will undoubtedly be Poland on Thursday.
Women’s Team Championships
2008 Result – Winners
Tine Rasmussen will be one of the stars on show in the Women’s Championship, the 10th ranked player in the world will led off Denmark in the singles. Europe’s top ranked women’s double pairing, Kristiansen and Rytter Juhl will be the partnership to beat in the championships also. Like the men, they also a potential bye to the semi final if they win Group A, with Greece, Estonia and Czech Republic.
2008 Result – 2nd
With Yao Jie and Judith Meulendijks out of the Championships, the Dutch are very much understrength in the singles. Patty Stolzenbach will need to regain the form that seen her reach the semi final of the Norwegian Open late last year for the Netherlands to have any chance to progress.
2008 Result – 3rd
Juliane Schenk will lead the German team in Group D in the singles, with Marinello and Overzier being the top ranked all-German couple, however Nicole Grether is seeded higher in the world but with a Canadian partner, so Germany’s 2nd doubles partnership could be just as strong as their first.
2008 Result – 4th
A surprise 4th placed finish it might have been, but a full-fit Scottish squad will arrive in Warsaw. Emma Mason is back after an 18-month lay off, as well as Imogen Bankier returning to competitive competition after a knee injury. Susan Egelstaff is in the form of her life after winning the 2009 Scottish Open. However they are placed in a tough group with France, Poland and Ukraine.
The competition begins on Tuesday, February 16.
Play started at 10am with top seed Marc Zweibler in action against qualifier Joshua Green, the German being in fantastic form in his 21-17, 21-13 win and will play against Scotland’s Craig Goddard. 6th seed Vladimir Malkov was also impressive in his win over Tomas Kopriva.
Local interest will continue into the second round, with Kieran Merrilees, Martin Campbell, Calum Menzies, Stephen McPhail and Gordon Thomson all winning their opening round games. Second seed Przemyslaw Wacha was last on court but was perhaps the most impressive in the opening round, winning 21-6, 21-14 against Rohan Midha.
The top seeds in the Women’s Singles will be in action tomorrow, with top seed Ella Diehl playing Perrine Lebuhanic and second seed Susan Egelstaff playing Belgian Stefanie Bertels. With local interest also coming in the way of Kirsty Gilmour, after a first round walkover.
Play begins tomorrow with top seeds Durkin and Vislova playing Scottish pair Keith Turnbull and Kirsten Geals, second seed Claes and Descamps have pulled out, leaving the bottom half of the draw wide open.
Day 1 seen only two seeds lost; will the dominance end on Friday? Play begins at 10am.
Scottish International Championships Draws
Susan Egelstaff begins the quest for her first Scottish Open this week with arguably her easiest draw to the later years in all the years she has been playing the event. The second seed will play the winner of Stefanie Bertels and Lubomira Stoymora in the second round after receiving a first round bye.
Top seed Ella Diehl plays the winner of Huwaina Razi and Perrine Lebuhanic, the news of Olga Konon withdrawing from the event is another boost to Egelstaff’s hopes, with the Pole recently reaching the French Super Series quarter final.
Marc Zweibler comes into the Men’s Singles as the top seed; his opening round match is against qualifier Joshua Green. Local interest will be with 9th seeded Kieran Merrilees for a chance of a Scottish victory, he plays Sam Phiillips in Round 1.
The Mixed Doubles draw has been opened up in the lower half of the draw with the withdrawal of 2nd seeds Claes and Descamps, allowing Scottish pair Paul Van Rietvelde and Emma Mason to progress into Round 1.
Play begins at 10am local time with Marc Zweibler starting play, with the first round of the Men’s and Women’s Singles and Doubles being completed on Day 1.
Thursday’s Order Of Play
Scottish International Championships 2009 Draws
Four top seeds were in contention for top honours in Sunday’s finals, with the mixed doubles top seed starting play. Robin Middleton and Mariana Agathangelou played unseeded Marcus Ellis and Heather Olver in an all-English final. It was the unseeded pair of Ellis and Olver that won the match in two games, 21-19, 21-17.
Next on court was Juliane Schenk, seeded 1 against Rachel Van Cutsen, the 4th seed from Holland. The German top seed took the opening game 21-12, only for Van Cutsen to win the second game 21-19 and level up the match, but Schenk proved too strong and took the third game 21-11 to secure the title.
Then came the Men’s Singles final, pitting the top two seeds against each other. Marc Zweibler, seeded 1 took the opening game 21-15, but the second seed Hans-Kristian Vittinghus responded by taking the second game 21-18. This set up a deciding third game for the title, which the 2nd seed Dane took 21-19 to clinch the victory.
Top seeded Helle Nielsen and Marie Ropke made it a second title for Denmark, beating Samantha Barning and Eefje Muskens in two games 21-13, 21-18. Title number three was provided by Rasmus Bonde and Simon Mollyhus, the unseeded pair defeated second seeds Kristof Hopp and Johannes Schoettler in three games, 18-21, 21-17 and 21-19.
Norwegian International 2009 Complete Finals Results
There was some local interest in the finals of the Belgian Open today in the mixed doubles with Wouter Claes and Natalie Descamps making the final against Heather Olver and Marcus Ellis of England. The seeds had toppled in this tournament in all events, leaving only one top seed playing on finals day.
First on court with the women’s doubles, with Emma Mason making her comeback from a serious achilles injury reaching the final with her English partner Samantha Ward against Japanese pair Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi. They shared the opening two sets before the Japanese pair proved to be too strong in the third to take the match 21-13.
Marcus Ellis and Peter Mills played against the only top seed left in any draw, Ruud Bosch and Koen Ridder of Holland. The top seeds took the opening set 30-28, with both couples having five chances apiece to win the first set and then wrapped up the second 21-12 to claim the title.
The Men’s Singles provided the other seed against seed encounter on the last day, with German Marc Zweibler seeded second against seventh seeded Christian Lind Thomsen of Denmark. The match was a tale of three sets, with Zweibler dominating the opening set, before the Dane levelled the match in equally impressive fashion. The match turned at 3-3 in the deciding set, with Zweibler going on a 9-point run which was too big a gap for Lind Thomsen to catch back up.
Misaki Matsutomo played in her second final of the day against second seeded Yao Jie of Holland in the Women’s Singles. Both players took one of the two opening sets but 21 points to 14. The third set was a similar affair to the Men’s final, with Matsutomo leading 10-6 the dutch second seed won 8 consecutive points to turn the match in her favour, eventually winning 21-16 in the third.
The big local hope was in the Mixed Doubles, with second seeds Claes and Descamps against Heather Olver and Marcus Ellis, playing in his second final fo the day. The first set was dominated by the English duo, with the Belgians never having a lead in the opening set, losing it 21-9. The second set was a far more competitive affair at the start of the set, before the English couple stretched out another lead. Claes and Descamps managed to save the match at 20-17 down to make it 20-20. They manufactured a game point at 23-22, before losing the next three points to the unseeded English couple.
The next challenge event in the EBU calendar is in Bulgaria on October 1-4.
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.