Morten Jaksland is closing in on the World No.1 sport. Fast. The Dane has been the standout player on the men’s circuit in 2019, emphasising that last weekend by retaining his King of Rackets title and becoming Men’s Doubles World Champion for the first time.
Jaksland became World Champion alongside long-time doubles partner Kresten Hougaard. The Danes were supposed to then meet in the final of the King of Rackets singles. However, Hougaard was forced to pull out through injury. Was it the end that Jaksland wanted to the weekend?
“No, nowhere near,” he responded when asked. “It’s a little bit of a relief when the weekend is over and you’re suddenly not going to play anymore but I remember the buzz from last year throughout the final and it worked out my way and I’m going to miss all that.”
It is always nice to win a title but it is always anticlimactic when your opponent is forced to withdraw from injury, especially when that opponent is also such a close friend.
“I’m very happy about my performance”
However, Jaksland would not have won the title had he not put himself into the final in the first place. The Dane was pleased with his performances across the four days of competition.
“I think I played a solid game actually. Whenever I messed it up for myself a little bit and made it difficult I’d always back it up in the next sport somehow.
“I’d say particularly in the squash against Radermacher in the semi-final I thought I might have given him too many so he only needed 14 in tennis to win. I thought that might be a difficult challenge but then my tennis backed it up so obviously I’m very happy about my performance.”
The semi-final against Cornelius Radermacher was one of the best matches in the competition. Radermacher played out of his skin in the first three sports, leading by eight into tennis.
“Well, probably if you looked at the odds from that point then they would have swung his way a little bit and I think the only way I could back it up or get back into it was to play my own tennis game, feel free and hit through my shots,” Jaksland said when asked how he was feeling ahead of the tennis.
“Not going too passive in the tennis game, that’s what usually goes wrong. Everybody talks about the racketlon tennis phenomenon but I feel like I worked my way around that and just outplayed Radermacher.
“It’s still my favourite tournament probably”
For Jaksland, the tournament once again lived up to its reputation as one of the very best on the World Tour.
“The four days have been great. We’ve had such good weather and the only thing that can take some of this nice summer buzz away from this tournament is probably the rain that’s coming. But luckily we didn’t have any and it’s just been wonderful to walk around here.
“It’s felt like the four days have just flown past. It’s still my favourite tournament probably.”
“That’s my ultimate goal”
After winning the King of Rackets, it felt apt to ask Jaksland how he was now feeling about being a World Champion, two days after being crowned.
“It has grown on me so I would say that it is definitely the biggest [achievement in my career]. But somehow there is something in the singles titles that the doubles doesn’t have. I’m not sure what it is but for me, singles is just bigger because you’re alone and it’s your own project.
“I like to play team, I like to play doubles but somehow the prestige is in the singles for me. I don’t know if that’s my spoilt background in tennis that does that.”
That prompted the question that had to be asked next. Is becoming Singles World Champion the next aim?
“Yes, it is. That’s my ultimate goal. Last year it was the same thing. I prepared with everything I had towards the World Championships. Got unlucky, met Ratzer early, but I felt like I was playing well. This year it’s a very big one for me I would say. All eyes on that for me now.”
To take part in a racketlon tournament yourself, check out the 2019 FIR World Tour.
Sam Barker / FIR Media Officer
Image Credit / Inge Omey