After months of waiting the World Doubles Championships are finally almost here. We’ll be previewing the elite classes from the Men’s Doubles, Women’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles over the coming days. First, here is the preview for the Men’s A Doubles category.
With 12 pairs heading to Oudenaarde to battle it out for the Men’s Doubles World Championship, we have an intriguing field to dissect ahead of the tournament.
Last year the trophy was lifted by Christian Wiessner and Thorsten Deck, who shocked the seeds to become the first German Men’s A Doubles World Champions.
Wiessner will be back to defend his crown this year, albeit without Deck. Instead, he’s partnered by Sweden’s Rene Lindberg as he looks to produce another stunning result.
All four seeds are a pair of players competing from the same nation. The top seeds are Danish duo Morten Jaksland and Kresten Hougaard. Great Britain’s Luke Barnes and Jack Bishop are the second seeds while Finland’s Tommi Laine and Luke Penttinen take the third-seeded spot. Finally, experienced British duo Ray Jordan and Duncan Stahl are the fourth seeds.
That does not mean there are not a number of dangerous floating duos in the draw. 2011 World Singles Champion Calum Reid is teaming up with IWT Berlin Open Doubles champion Cornelius Radermacher.
World Doubles No.3 Dan Busby is in an intriguing partnership with Belgium’s Peter Duyck. Elsewhere, rising star Arnaud Genin has persuaded Cedric Junillon to come out of retirement to compete.
Top Half of the Men’s Doubles Draw
With the four seeds all receiving a bye through to the quarter-finals, the big opening question is who will join them?
Top seeds Hougaard and Jaksland will begin their campaign against either Busby and Duyck or Guus Van De Burgt and Steffan Neumann. Immediately the prospect of a Hougaard/Jaksland v Busby/Duyck quarter-final stands out as a match to watch if it falls that way. The rankings advantage may fall with the Danes but this would be a fierce contest.
The second quarter holds the current champion Christian Wiessner with new partner Rene Lindberg. His title defence begins against Paul Sach and Paul Twisterling, with Twisterling playing his first doubles match in over two years.
The winner of this match will take on third seeds Tommi Laine and Luka Penttinen. The Finns are an intriguing pair and reached the final of the IWT Czech Open just last month.
If the top half goes to seeding then the semi-finals will be Jaksland and Hougaard against Laine and Penttinen. That is by no means a given though. Duyck and Busby, as well as Wiessner and Lindberg, both have the potential to cause a shock. It will take a mammoth effort for Wiessner to retain his title but do not rule anything out.
Bottom Half of the Men’s Doubles Draw
The bottom half of the draw is led by two British pairs. The second seeds are Barnes and Bishop while the fourth seeds are Jordan and Stahl.
The first round match in the third quarter sees French duo Arnaud Genin and Cedric Junillon face Alwin Krist and Marc Oliver Grau. Genin managing to draw Junillon out of retirement makes for a dangerous pair.
The winner of that will go on to face Duncan Stahl and Ray Jordan. Stahl, in particular, is in great doubles form after winning the IWT Berlin Open with Cornelius Radermacher last weekend.
After a bye through the opening round, Barnes and Bishop will face either Calum Reid and Cornelius Radermacher or Korbinian Heim and Joerg Kanonenberg. With Reid’s 2011 World Singles Championship pedigree and Radermacher’s recent IWT Berlin Open Men’s Doubles title these two make a fearsome pair. Radermacher and Reid are perhaps the pick of the non-seeded pairs and will be a real dark horse in the tournament.
If the bottom half goes to seedings then it will be four Brits contesting the semi-finals. With the likes of Calum Reid, Cornelius Radermacher, Arnaud Genin and Cedric Junillon lurking in this half though, it seems like there could easily be a shock somewhere along the line.
One thing that is certain is that we’re guaranteed at least one new World Doubles Champion. Christian Wiessner is the only previous champion which means that a new player will lift the trophy for the first time. History will be made in Belgium. It’s just a question of who’s going to make it.
The full Men’s Doubles draw is available here.
The full FIR World Tour is available here.
Sam Barker / FIR Media Officer