Malmö Racketlon welcomes everyone to enjoy the second FIR Racketlon World Tour 2018 event. For our local club, the tournament hits a milestone this year – it is the fifth time we host this large racketlon event. We have learned a lot since we first organized the tournament in 2014 and, as always, we now hope to host the best IWT Swedish Open ever! We are delighted to welcome 129 players from 17 countries in 19 draws. Just like last year, we also co-host the first leg of FIR Champions League – this year with a brand new second division. To accommodate all this racketlon, we have booked more courts than ever before! The first matches will start already at 9 am on Friday February 23. All draws and the time schedule are now online on fir.tournamentsoftware.com
Eight+Four balanced teams compete in FIR Champions League
Eight Champions League teams will play their first leg matches in Malmö on Friday. The drafting format guarantees teams of equal strength, thus we’re up for some exciting matches as iPro London will try to defend the title from 2017. The contenders in the first division are King of Rackets, C&C Racketlonshop Union Austria, Copenhagen, Malta Magic, Berlin Berghain Boasters, Swiss Army Knives, and the new team Swedish Vikings. Experts appear to hold iPro London as favorites also this year, but especially the Austrian and Danish teams will field some really strong players. The four teams in the second division are: iPro London 2, Berlin Berghain Boasters 2, Malta Magic 2, and Swiss Army Knives 2 – if forced to pick a favorite, I would say that the German team looks promising!
Windischberger is back to defend, De Bleeckere comes for revenge
After winning IWT Swedish Open three years in a row (2014-2016), and most other tournaments as well, Jesper Ratzer retired. Instead Lukas Windischberger won the title last year after beating Kasper Jønsson in the final. World No 1 Windischberger is now coming back to defend the title, but there are several great players in the draw ready to challenge him – including five top-10 players! Among the ladies, the defending champion Amke Fischer will be focusing on FIR Champions League in Malmö, leaving the race for the title open for four remaining Women A players – resulting in a round robin and a lot of racketlon rallies. Last year’s runner-up Lieselot De Bleeckere will surely go for the gold, but Natalie Paul will be a tough opponent. Just like last year, there will be no elite doubles in Swedish Open, as most elite players will participate in FIR Champions League.
From the Swedish perspective
Sweden did not win any medals in the elite categories in last year’s IWT Swedish Open, thus there is nothing to defend but a lot to win! Unfortunately, there are no Swedish players in Women A, but in Men A as many as 9 out of 24 players are Swedish. However, not a single Swede is seeded in the draw – we even have two Swedes facing each other in the first round. Sebastian Hedlund has the highest world ranking (WR 30) of the Swedish players this year, but several players are better than their rankings, e.g., Mikael Rehn (WR 60) and Emil Gunnarsson (WR 110). Finally, it is good to see one of the best Swedish racketlon players of all times, Christian Wall, return from injuries – an obvious receiver of a wild card!
Welcome to Malmö!