After months of waiting the World Doubles Championships are finally almost here. Today, we’re looking through the Mixed Doubles category in our final draw preview before the tournament begins.
If you want an open draw with five or six genuine contenders then this is the draw to keep an eye on. The Mixed Doubles draw is not only loaded with talent but loaded with fun matches across the draw.
Last year’s title was won by Austrian duo Christine Seehofer and Lukas Windischberger. The latter is not returning this year so Seehofer has instead paired up with Dan Busby and they are the top seeds.
There are 12 pairs in total contesting this competition, including seven of the top-10 ranked Mixed Doubles players in the World. Seehofer is the only previous World Champion though, so at least one new World Champion is guaranteed.
Top Half of the Mixed Doubles Draw
As top seeds, Seehofer and Busby sit at the top of the draw. With 12 pairs, the top four seeds all receive a bye through to the quarter-finals. Joining Busby and Seehofer in receiving a bye in the top half of the draw is Swedish fourth seeds Anna-Klara Ahlmer and Rene Lindberg.
In the first round, French pair Margaux Randjbar and Arnaud Genin play wildcards Stine Jacobsen and Cornelius Radermacher. Straight out the gates, this match is an intriguing contest given the four’s differing levels of racketlon experience. The winner of that match will advance to take on Seehofer and Busby in the quarter-finals.
The second first-round match is no-less fascinating. World No.8 Bettina Bugl teams up with Luke Barnes to take on World No.9 Peter Duyck and Lieselot de Bleeckere. As with the other match, this is a tough contest to evaluate. Typically, Duyck beats Barnes at singles but Bugl is unbeaten against de Bleeckere in previous Mixed Doubles matches. After being out of the game for two years, there are also understandable question marks over the kind of form Peter Duyck will be in.
If the top half goes to seeding then we’ll have Seehofer and Busby against recent 2019 Swedish National champions Ahlmer and Lindberg. The two seeded pairs reaching the semi-finals is in no way certain though. Don’t be surprised if we see a shock somewhere in this half.
Second Half of the Mixed Doubles Draw
The second half of the draw features the two most recent IWT Mixed Doubles champions in another loaded half. IWT Berlin Open champions Astrid Reimer-Kern and Kresten Hougaard are the No.3 seeds while IWT Czech Open and IWT Club La Santa champions Zuzana Severinova and Morten Jaksland the No.2 seeds.
This half also hosts the return of Lilian Druve. The Racketlon Hall of Famer has teamed up with reigning Men’s Doubles champion Christian Wiessner and they open against German duo Silke Altmann and Paul Sach. The winner of that contest will progress to take on Reimer-Kern and Hougaard.
The second match sees Julia Knake and Alwin Krist face off against the eye-catching pair of Luke Griffiths and Amke Fischer. For U16 World Singles and Doubles champion Luke Griffiths, this marks a debut in the elite categories at a World Championships. This will be a match to follow to see how Griffiths deals with the step up to elite level. Severinova and Jaksland await the winner.
If the bottom half goes to seeding then we’re set for a rematch of the IWT Berlin Open final. On that day in Germany, Reimer-Kern and Hougaard crushed Severinova and Jaksland. Will Severinova and Jaksland get the chance for revenge or will one of the unseeded pairs cause an upset somewhere along the way?
The full World Doubles Championships Mixed Doubles draw is available here.
The World Doubles Championships takes place on May 30-31 in Oudenaarde.
The full FIR World Tour is available here.
Sam Barker / FIR Media Officer
Image Credit / Czech Racketlon Association