At 38.5 C we think the 2018 German Open might well have been the hottest ever Racketlon tournament played on the World Tour! And it was through this blistering heat that the world number 1’s, Lukas Windischberger and Chrissie Seehofer from Austria took the Men’s and Women’s titles.
Windischberger Comes Through Scare to Triumph
Lukas Windischberger came to German Open as reigning champion, world number 1 and favourite to win the title, however he found himself in big trouble in the 2nd round against the local unseeded opponent of Christian Wiessner. All even after badminton, Wiessner got 9 in squash before heading to the very hot, clay tennis courts. With Christian being one of, if not the best, tennis players on the Racketlon Tour he was possibly slight favourite to take the match from this position. However Lukas now has a lot of racketlon experience and knowing he was the weaker tennis player of the two, he played a clever game, shortening the rallies and attacking the net at every opportunity. It all came down to 20-9 with Lukas having match point and Wiessner needing one point to take things to a gummi arm. Lukas held his nerve and another attack at the net meant he avoided the upset.
Elsewhere in the Men’s Draw, young Fin Luka Pentinnen brought some good form to Germany emphatically dumping out 3rd seed Dan Busby by +15: 21-13, 21-13, 6-21, 21-7 and Beni Graenicher from Switzerland also battled his way through to the semi finals before losing to Morten Jaksland. Beni ended up taking 3rd place overall.
So in a repeat final to last year, Lukas showed his class (and good signs that he is over his injury worry) by dismantling the Tour’s form player Morten Jaksland +16: 10-21, 21-7, 21-7, 5-6 to take his 2nd German Open title in a row and to go to the World Champs in good spirits.
Seehofer Stays on Course for Zurich
In the women’s draw Chrissie Seehofer moved through her rounds to the final without losing a sport against Belarussian Anastasiya Bruzgina and strong German player, Silke Altman, whilst in contrast 2nd seed Natalie Paul from Germany battled through 2 very close encounters against Swede Anna-Klara Ahlmer (+5) and young Brit Hannah Boden (+6).
The previous evening, during the Champions League final, Chrissie and Natalie had played out a memorable, intensely close match (11up) with every set going to a tie-break. In this German Open final, a 21-11 TT win to Chrissie, meant Natalie was still in the contest but needed to win the badminton set (as she had done the previous evening) to remain in the contest. A high quality badminton encounter saw Natalie take an 11-8 lead but Chrissie played out an impressive 2nd half to take the set 21-18 and with it extinguished any chance Natalie had of upsetting the dominant world no.1.
Chrissie now goes to Zurich as the overwhelming favourite to retain her World Champs crown.
Even through the heat, it should also be noted that the machine, more commonly known as Richard Middleton casually cruised his way through 7 matches in the 40+ and 45+ draws. Very occasionally removing his glasses to briefly wipe his brow, the super human British veteran won all 7 of his matches hence taking back to London two seniors German Open titles.
All other results across all classes can be found HERE
A Great Summer Tournament
With the temperatures soaring at the beautifully renovated Nussloch Racket Center, players could be seen everywhere in an endless cycle of sweating, drinking, sweating and drinking some more. But with a fantastic restaurant and bar on site and even a pool to sit in whilst watching the centre court tennis, the German Open served up another treat of a summer tournament. A very well organized event, great player’s BBQ, very serious beer pong competition, camping and a fantastic center to relax and play in, the German Open remains one of the highlights of the tour.
Duncan Stahl / FIR General Secretary
Pic Credits: Inge Omey