Day two in Prague and once again the sun shone brightly as top seeds Christine Seehofer and Morten Jaksland continued their efforts to rack up further A draw titles. You can’t win the title on Saturday, but you certainly can lose it!
Seehofer Sails Through
Top seed Seehofer dominated from the get-go, unphased even by the 8:15am start. First up was Kirsten Kaptein who was serenely dispatched before many players were out of bed! The victory set Seehofer up with a semi-final against Anna-Klara Ahlmer. The Swede had cruised through in similarly smooth fashion, as she defeated Virag Sakovics before tennis. There was frustration for Ahlmer in the semi-final though, as she couldn’t find a rhythm and Seehofer pounced ruthlessly. The victory was sealed before tennis for the top seed.
It was a harder day for second seed Bettina Bugl as she faced the in-form Zuzana Severinova. Bugl took the table tennis but Severinova dominated from then onwards to reach the semi-finals. There she faced Emmie Danielsson who caused a big upset in defeating U21 World Champion Hannah Boden. As they reached the tennis, Boden needed just 11, but Danielsson displayed an impeccable Racketlon temperament. Keeping the ball in and deep, she gave Boden nothing and held her nerve to secure a career-best win.
In their semi-final, Danielsson struck first and struck hard. 21-4 in the table-tennis put Severinova on the back foot. But the home hopeful dug in and clawed her way back through badminton and squash. Danielsson needed 16 at tennis but the young Czech was a class above, 21-8 seeing her through to the final.
Jaksland Juggernaut Rolls On
The top half of the Men’s A went to seeding as top seed Morten Jaksland and third seed Benny Graenicher set up a semi-final against each other. Greanicher breezed through, seeing off compatriot Oliver Buhler then Croat Nikola Matic without needing his tennis racket. Morten made light work of Prague’s Michal Horacek but had to work far harder against France’s Arnaud Genin. The two are the form players of 2019 and Genin pushed Jaksland into a full set of tennis. The World No. 2 sealed kept his nerve though, winning 21-8 to progress to the semi-finals.
It was a different story in the bottom half of the draw. Second seed Dan Busby found himself in the rare situation ending of the day without a singles squash win. He survived a tight tussle with Simon Vaclahovsky thanks to some excellent tennis serves and controlled lob forehands. However, Poland’s No.1 Rav Rykowski ended the Briton’s hopes, dominating the first three sports to reach the semi-finals. Fifth seed Luka Pentinen had to dig deep to defeat Czechia’s Martin Sopko, 5 down into tennis, Luka fought off a number of match points to force a gumi-arm. He then held his nerve to take the gumi-arm in style. Luka made lighter work of Bengt Sonnert in the quarter-finals, reaching tennis needing just 11 which he achieved with ease.
Four More Titles Decided
Two veterans, the First Timers and one junior title were decided on Saturday. Thomas Larsen defeated Zoltan Matecsa in the final of the O55s, while Esther Dunendorfer added to her impressive array of Women’s O45s titles with Zuzana Vancurikova finishing second. Czech Youngster Lukas Dvorik claimed the First Timers title from Sebastian Lipczynski. Sadly for home fans, Dvorik couldn’t claim a maiden junior title as Austria’s Alexander Wagner controlled the badminton in particular on the way to victory in the U13.
If you want to read more about the action from day two then you can check out our Live Blog.
James Pope / FIR Writer