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. Today, we’re looking through the Women’s Doubles draw.
Having won the World Doubles Championships for four years in a row, Christine Seehofer is the woman to beat.
Twice the World No.1 has won it with Zuzana Kubanova, and twice with Natalie Paul. This year, she has found herself a new partner. None other than fellow Austrian Bettina Bugl.
Unsurprisingly, the Austrian duo are the top seeds, with Zuzana Severinova and Nicole Eisler taking the No.2 seed.
Top Half of the Women’s Doubles Draw
As top seeds, Seehofer and Bugl sit at the top of the draw. With eight pairs in the draw, we begin at the quarter-final stage and Bugl and Seehofer open against Lieselot De Bleeckere and Stine Jacobsen.
For Belgium’s De Bleeckere, this is the first venture into Women’s Doubles since the European Championships in 2017. Ironically, she partnered Bettina Bugl at that event but will now face her in Belgium.
The second match in the top half pits a pair of Germans against a French duo. Silke Altmann and Amke Fischer face Margaux Randjbar and Melodie Parrot in a fascinating contest.
After Fischer was forced to pull out of the IWT Berlin Open just a fortnight ago, question marks linger over how healthy she’ll be coming into this. In contrast, Randjbar and Parrot reached the final, eventually losing to Zuzana Severinova and Anna-Klara Ahlmer. Will the experienced Germans have enough to topple the young French pair?
There’s no doubt that the favourites to reach the final from the top half are Bettina Bugl and Christine Seehofer. The duo are not untouchable though. In the IWT Czech Open final earlier this year they won the title but only by one point over Hannah Boden and Zuzana Severinova.
Bottom Half of the Women’s Doubles Draw
Speaking of Severinova, she’s at the bottom of the draw alongside Nicole Eisler. The pair have already scooped up one Women’s Doubles title this year, taking the title in a late-night finish at the IWT Club La Santa Open.
In Lanzarote, they beat Anna-Klara Ahlmer and Margaux Randjbar in the final. In the first round in Belgium they face Ahlmer again, except this time she’s partnered with Racketlon Hall of Famer Lilian Druve.
The three-time World Singles Champion, Druve, is making her first appearance since June 2017 as she attempts to win her first Women’s Doubles World Championship.
While this match pits four players with a huge repertoire of racketlon experience against each other, the other match is the complete opposite.
The second match in the bottom half pits Natalia Prado and Anna Wall against Rahel Frothmann and Julia Knake. All four players are making their debut in the Women’s A category at the World Doubles Championships. It is an incredible opportunity for one of these pairs to reach the semi-finals and have a shot at reaching a World Doubles Championship final.
Racketlon experience would suggest that the finalist in the bottom half will come from the titanic match between Eisler and Severinova against Ahlmer and Druve. The inexperienced pairs will be looking to ruin the script though.
The real question in Belgium though, is can anyone stop Christine Seehofer from picking up her fifth Women’s Doubles title in a row?
The full Women’s A Doubles draw is available here.
The full FIR World Tour is available here.
Sam Barker / FIR Media Officer
Image Credit / Inge Omey