It was a day to remember at the IWT Swiss Open for French duo Arnaud Genin and Cedric Junillon as they stunned the top seeds to win the Men’s A Doubles.
They built on their silver medal at last month’s World Doubles Championships to win the title without dropping a set.
Meanwhile, there was a double celebration for Germany’s Silke Altmann as she won both the Women’s A Doubles and Mixed A Doubles with Esther Dubendorfer and Dan Busby respectively.
Genin and Junillon Get Revenge on Hougaard
Last month, Kresten Hougaard and Morten Jaksland were crowned champions of the world after defeating Arnaud Genin and Cedric Junillon in the Men’s Doubles finals.
Less than a month later and Genin and Junillon were able to get a small slice of revenge – over Hougaard at least.
After Patrick Oettl and Simon Vaclahovsky were forced to withdraw, the Men’s A was decided in a three-pair box league.
Hougaard, without his regular partner Jaksland, instead found himself alongside World No.3 Dan Busby. Swiss duo Magnus Ekstrand and Nicolas Lenggenhager were the other pair in the mix.
With Ekstrand and Lenggenhager losing both matches in relatively routine fashion it left a shoot-out between the French pair and the top-seeded Busby-Hougaard combo.
Alarm bells were ringing early on for the top pair. The French duo raced out of the blocks, snatching an impressive 21-14 table tennis win to give them an advantage before their best sport. Badminton was even better – a 21-12 victory opening up a +16 lead heading to squash.
Despite their best efforts, the top seeds were unable to repair the damage in the squash. Eventually, Junillon was able to sneak the squash victory 24-22 over Busby to secure the victory. So emphatic was their performance that they did not need to use their tennis rackets in the doubles event.
This was a special victory for both Arnaud Genin and Cedric Junillon. For Genin, this was a first Men’s A Doubles victory in his blossoming racketlon career. For Junillon, this marked the first time he’d stood on top of the podium at a World Tour event since the Malta Open in 2015.
Clean Sweep on Doubles Day for Silke Altmann
Silke Altmann was the star of the show in the other two elite categories, picking up the Women’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles titles.
In the Women’s Doubles she partnered Esther Dubendorfer, with the duo putting on a blistering display throughout the day. They won all three of their matches for the loss of just two sets.
Their closest challengers were Swiss pair Nicole Eisler and Dara Ladner. They pushed the top seeds closest but eventually fell to a 12 point loss to take second-place.
The bronze medal went to the Dutch pair Kirsten Kaptein and Fabienne Dony, who were narrowly denied silver in a five-point loss to Eisler and Ladner.
The day’s real drama came in the Mixed Doubles where Altmann partnered new World Mixed Doubles champion Dan Busby. The top seeds found themselves embroiled in a high-quality opening round match against Nicole Eisler and Arnaud Genin.
After losing the first two sports, Altmann and Busby battled back to force a gumi arm. They duly won it to book their spot in the final.
There they would face Astrid Reimer-Kern and Kresten Hougaard, Busby’s recent opponents in the World Mixed Doubles Championships.
Once again it was Busby who emerged triumphant, putting on a breathtaking display alongside Altmann to win by +6. This included an awesome 25-27 squash set.
Busby continues his spectacular mixed doubles form as he looks to become World No.1 in the Mixed Doubles rankings for the first time. Altmann records her second Doubles-Double in less than a year after also achieving the feat at last year’s IWT Malta Open.
More Doubles Champions
As the recent World Doubles Championships and King of Rackets proved, France has some serious depth at the moment on the Men’s Tour. This was on display once again as the French duo Nicolas Georges and Maxime Reby battled to claim the Men’s B Doubles title.
The unseeded pair toppled Michael Holzinger and Adarsh Narayanaswamy in a hugely competitive final. This marked a first World Tour trophy for them as they took part in just their second international tournament. Swiss third seeds Danijel Batinic and Michael Strassle took third-place.
Alongside winning the Women’s A Doubles, Esther Dubendorfer also triumphed in the Mixed B Doubles. She partnered Swiss teammate Cyril Hohl as they came through three matches to win the title. In the final, they defeated Fabienne Dony and Patrick Burgi while Swiss second seeds Dara Ladner and Michael Strassle took third.
Finally, it was an impressive racketlon debut for German duo Tommy Lam and Stefan Meister. They defeated two Swiss pairs to lift the trophy in the First Timers category.
The Full Results from the IWT Swiss Open can be viewed here.
The IWT Swiss Open singles event begins on Saturday with centre court matches streamed online.
Sam Barker / FIR Media Officer
Image Credit / Cedric Junillon